Academics at DA

Recognized as a National Model School by the U.S. Department of Education, DA students’ performance on AP tests, as well as scores on college-entrance exams have earned DA recognition as consistently being ranked in the top 4% of all high schools in the nation.  DA boasts having numerous National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists over the years.  

The String Pedagogy class is unique to the DA Orchestra Department and is the only such class offered in the nation.  Students attending the class learn to play, and teach the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Field experiences, provide them with the opportunity to apply teaching strategies by working with string students at Pine Forest Elementary School of the Arts and LaVilla School of the Arts.  

String Chamber Music and String Pedagogy

The curriculum for DA string players includes classes in String Chamber Music

and String Pedagogy.  Chamber Music students are offered the opportunity to

develop ensemble skills in small groups such as quartets and trios while learning music written by noted composers from the last three centuries. 


Douglas Anderson Orchestra students are also fortunate to learn from professional musicians in our own community.  Musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as well as the Ritz Chamber Players are regular guests and mentors.  The DA orchestra also collaborates with many local arts organizations, including the Friday Musicale, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Prelude Chamber Music, and Jewish Community Alliance among others to provide enriching learning opportunities.

The Curriculum

Students from all over Northeast Florida participate in the orchestra’s rigorous program.  All orchestra students meet a minimum of 90 minutes a day. For many students, who are in additional orchestra classes, this means at least 2 orchestra classes each day. In addition to orchestra classes, students attend classes in AP Music Theory, Keyboard, Music History, Recording, Jazz History, and Electronic Music.  

The Douglas Anderson Orchestras

The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Orchestra Program is one of 
the finest high school orchestra programs in the nation. Under the direction of Brian Griffin, Director of Orchestras, the orchestra program at DA consists of three string orchestras, ranging from a training-level ensemble through an advanced Chamber Orchestra, which regularly performs standard orchestral literature.  In addition to these orchestras, students of the DA Symphony Orchestra attend after school rehearsals and perform during special events throughout the year.  An annual Concerto Concert, performed entirely by DA orchestra and music department students, features soloists from the DA Chamber Orchestra and Wind Symphony.

"Just Like Gentlemen"  Ana-Spfia Pozo, Joe Henderson, Claudia Beshears, Edward Latimer

Guest Artists and Clinicians

One of the highlights of being a string player at DA is the opportunity to learn from some of the best string musicians in the world.  Through master classes, performances, and lectures, DA string students have learned from a range of artists representing many different styles and genres of music.  Notable guests include violinist Joshua Bell, Turtle Island String Quartet, former concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Joseph Silverstein, GRAMMY award winning violinist/fiddler/composer Mark O’Connor, Time for Three, violinist with the Emerson String Quartet Philip Setzer, Kelly Thompkins-Hall (violinist from Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway), Joe Craven, and many, many more.

Orchestra Alumni
The DA Orchestra graduates 15 – 20 students each year. Since 2009 these graduates have received well over $1 million, each year, in scholarship offers to leading colleges and conservatories.  Orchestra graduates have attended top in-state universities UF, FSU, UCF, USF, UNF, UWF, JU, Rollins, and Stetson, as well as many out of state schools including Notre Dame, Yale, Georgia Southern, University of South Carolina, Northwestern, University of Wisconsin and others.  Countless DA Orchestra alumni have gone on to successful careers in performance and music education. 


Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

2445 San Diego Road

Jacksonville, Florida 32207

904 346-5620

www.da-arts.org

Orchestra Recognition


The Douglas Anderson Orchestra Program has earned local, state, and national recognition.  In addition to performing at the Florida Music Educators Conference in Tampa, the DA Chamber Orchestra is the only string orchestra from Florida to be invited to perform at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in its 71-year history.  The orchestras at DA contributed to the music department’s recognition by the GRAMMY Foundation as the top music program in the nation in both 2010 and 2012.