Electives, Performing Arts Department

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Welcome to the Performing Arts Department!

  • Hello and welcome!

    The Performing Arts programs at Riverdale Ridge are focused on introducing and engaging students to a wide variety of performance styles all while developing transferable skills for all content areas. 

    Through students engagement with the performing arts, our hope is that they come away as stronger leaders in their communities, more empathetic citizens, and curious members of the global community.

    While the three separate programs (Band, Choir, and Theatre) all have different focuses, it is our belief that our students benefit from cross-curricular experiences with all three content areas.

    Our goal is to build a world-class performing arts department.

    Thanks for checking us out!

    -Judd Farner, Teacher Lead Learner/Electives


Meet our Performing Arts Team!

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Mr. Judd Farner, Drama & Student Leader Team

Mr. Farner loves being a Raven.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Colorado State University. During his time at CSU, he led the creation of a student-run theatre company that provided additional opportunities for students to produce and perform theatre. After graduating from CSU, Mr. Farner became General Manager for the Bas Bleu Theatre Company in Fort Collins, CO. While he worked as GM, Mr. Farner also attended the University of Northern Colorado to obtain his Master of Arts in Theatre Education. He was selected as the UNC Outstanding Graduate Student for his class and was invited to speak at graduation.

Mr. Farner is focused on arts education advocacy, specifically on preparing emerging artists for the workforce after education. He is also the founder of The New Commedia, a small theatre company that creates original, local-grown productions across the front range.

If he has down-time, you'll find him at the movies.

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Mrs. Susan Forsyth, Vocal Music Learning Leader

Susie is starting her 26th year of teaching!! Susie loves Riverdale Ridge and is excited to build the choir program to the best it can be. Susie is in love with her beagle, Bella, the theater, and movies. She played and coached volleyball for over 20 years. Susie is the learning lead for the Performing Arts Department and also plans a NYC trip for the end of the year!

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Mr. Michael Vallez, Instrumental Music Learning Leader

Mr. Michael Vallez is excited to join the community of learners at Riverdale Ridge High School as its band teacher and is looking forward to working with all the amazing students, teachers, and parents in our new learning community! Mr. Vallez grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and spent his summers in beautiful Colorado visiting his grandmother in Estes Park, and loves calling Colorado home.

Mr. Vallez previously taught at Westminster High School, Wheat Ridge High School, and Baldwin-Woodville High School (WI), and is excited to collaborate with student musicians and the community to build a program at Riverdale Ridge High School from the ground up! He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree magna cum laude with University Honors from The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and completed his Master of Music Education degree with a Cognate in Conducting from The University of Colorado–Boulder.

A passionate advocate for lifelong musicianship, Mr. Vallez performs on euphonium as a regular member of The Colorado Wind Ensemble and has recently performed with the Pikes Peak Brass Band, Denver Philharmonic, Arapahoe Philharmonic, Littleton Symphony Orchestra, and The National Repertory Orchestra.  He has presented at numerous conferences, clinics, and workshops, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Wind Ensemble and as Technology Chair for the Colorado Music Educators Association.

In his free time, Mr. Vallez loves getting out to the mountains, going to concerts, and enjoying all the great scenes and experiences that Colorado has to offer.  He is incredibly excited to work alongside the RRHS community to create a place where music empowers students to express themselves and learn to lead fulfilling lives!