2022 – 2023 Wind Symphony in Carnegie Hall
The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Wind Symphony is the premier wind and percussion performing ensemble at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. The Wind Symphony is committed to performing the absolute best wind band literature (original works, marches and transcriptions) at an exceptionally high level of achievement. Wind Symphony students often participate in summer music festivals across the United States and many represent DA in the FMEA All-State Ensembles and the Duval/Nassau District Honor Band. Wind Symphony students participate in weekly studio class with DA guest faculty and also in weekly student-led sectionals.
The Wind Symphony performs 5-7 unique concerts per year, as well as providing personnel for the DA Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, the Wind Symphony performs at concerts, conferences, festivals, and regional/national events 1-2 times per year. The DA Wind Symphony resume of invited performances include the Midwest Clinic (3 times), the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference, the NAfME National Conference, the Florida Music Education Association Annual Conference and In-service Clinic, Music For All Festival (twice), the International Music Festival at Carnegie Hall, and others. The DA Wind Symphony made guest appearances at UNF on October 6, 2017 and at President’s Concert at the 2018 FMEA Conference in Tampa. The Wind Symphony was invited to perform as a “Featured Ensemble” at Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN in March of 2020. Most recently, the Wind Symphony was a featured performer at the 2022 CBDNA Southern Division Conference in Columbia, South Carolina.
2023 – 2024 Symphonic Band
The DA Symphonic Band is the prep concert band for the DA Wind Symphony. Students in this ensemble participate in weekly studio class with DA guest faculty and weekly director led sectionals. The Symphonic Band consistently earns straight superior ratings at FBA District Concert MPA and often at State Concert MPA. Several members of the DA Symphonic Band represent the DA Band Program in the FMEA All-State Ensembles and the Duval/Nassau District Honor Band. The DA Symphonic Band was recently featured as a clinic ensemble in the Duval County Band Director in-service in April 2018.
Jazz at DA
The jazz program within the band area at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts has had a storied legacy since its inception in 1984. Celebrating “America’s music” to its fullest extent, two jazz ensembles serve as the primary performing groups. With a scope of study that represents the last one hundred years of the evolution of jazz, repertoire includes the music of Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Stan Kenton through more recent big band contemporaries like Maria Schneider, Dave Holland, Roy Hargrove, and Christian McBride. Ensemble precision, stylistic integrity, and improvisational concepts are the focal points of instruction.
The flagship of the Douglas Anderson jazz program is Jazz Ensemble 1. Long recognized as one of the leading high school jazz bands in the country, JE 1 has had the honor of performing at many esteemed venues and events. These include the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, prestigious jazz festivals in Europe, and Essentially Ellington competitions in New York City where the band was named the winner in 2006. The band’s Essentially Ellington win was chronicled in the award winning film documentary “CHOPS”, which has served as an inspiration for many band programs across the nation. In 2016, Don Zentz assumed the reigns of JE 1 from founding director Ace Martin.
Under Zentz’s direction, the band was most recently named the 2022 DownBeat Magazine High School Large Jazz Ensemble winner. The DA Jazz Combo was invited to perform at the 2022 JEN Conference and won the 2022 National Jazz Festival Combo Award and JE 1 tied for 1st place. JE 1 was also named the 2021 Kansas City Jazz Summit and Basically Basie Competition Performing Arts High School Winner. JE 1 has performed at the 2017 Jazz Educators Network (JEN) conference in New Orleans, won the 2017 National Swing Central jazz band competition in Savannah, and has either won or placed in the large ensemble category for DownBeat Magazine for the past six years. According to DownBeat Magazine, this consistency factor is historically unique. Receiving superior ratings at music performance assessments continues to be a mainstay for both Douglas Anderson jazz ensembles.
2022 National Jazz Festival Combo Winners
“I am so very proud of the kids in our DA Jazz Combo. They have worked diligently at being able to perform at a level that brings integrity and respect to the music. The musical responsibilities placed on students in the combo format differ quite notably from big band. Improvisation is at the core with combo and that in and of itself demands consummate musicianship. It is a joy for me to see these young people grow as players with every after-school rehearsal. Their level of skill and musicality has entered the domain of artistry. Their dedication to craft has resulted in the DA Jazz Combo being selected to perform on the national stage at the 2022 Jazz Educators Network Conference in Dallas in January. I am thrilled that they will have this opportunity! They will represent our school and band program in extraordinary fashion!!”
Donald M. Zentz
Director of Jazz Studies
2022-2023 Saxophone Choir
Inspiration and Invention of the Saxophone
The saxophone is a relatively new instrument that was invented during the 1840s and patented in 1846 by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musician and instrument maker. A member of the woodwind family, saxophones are usually made of brass, and are played with a single reed mouthpiece, similar to that of the clarinet. The sax is used in many genres of music including classical, military and marching bands, jazz, and contemporary music, including rock and roll.As a youth, Adolphe Sax studied the flute and clarinet at Brussels Conservatory of Music. His father was a musical instrument maker and Adolphe apprenticed in the shop, where he was given not only excellent instruction, but also the freedom to develop his own ideas. While at the Conservatory, Adolphe began to observe the balance of brass and woodwind instruments in musical composition and performance. Eventually, he came to believe that there was a missing range that a hybrid woodwind and brass instrument might be able to fill. Sax’s experimentation with the bass clarinet led him to a design that combined the projection of a brass instrument with the agility of a woodwind and the saxophone was born.Sax’s concept of the saxophone family was quite a bit wider than just one instrument. His 1846 patent described 14 different versions of the saxophone in two groups, ranging from F contrabass all the way up to Eb sopranino. The series pitched in Bb and Eb soon became dominant and most of today’s saxophones are from this series.
Saxophone Manufacturers Then and Now
Sax’s patent expired in 1866, enabling other instrument manufacturers to build new versions of the saxophone. Early interest in the saxophone waned in Europe from 1870 to 1890, but it was steadily gaining in the United States as new musical styles became popular. Vaudeville and ragtime laid the groundwork for dance orchestras and eventually jazz, greatly expanding the demand for saxophones. In the 1890s, C.G. Conn, a respected manufacturer of brass instruments, began production of saxophones in the United States, providing a much more reliable and available supply of the instruments.The modern layout of the saxophone emerged during the 1930s and 1940s, first with right-side bell keys introduced by C. G. Conn on baritones, then by King on altos and tenors. In 1936, Selmer revolutionized the mechanics of the left hand table with their Balanced Action instruments, capitalizing on the right-side bell key layout. In 1948, Selmer introduced their Super Action models with right and left hand stack keys offset about 30 degrees apart, allowing for a more relaxed pose and greater dexterity on the keys. Selmer’s layout became the new standard and was adopted for virtually every saxophone being produced, from student to professional models. Selmer’s Mark VI saxophones, manufactured from 1954 to 1974, are legendary. The horns are known for their tone and mechanical excellence, but music historians believe other factors contributed to the success of the Mark VI. United States production of saxophones dropped during World War II because of the rationing of many metals, including copper and zinc, which make brass. Musicians seeking professional quality instruments turned to the more readily available Selmer saxophones. The Mark VI’s allure was also enhanced by its production run that coincided almost perfectly with the golden era of modern jazz. Selmer produced between 150,000 and 200,000 Mark VI’s, most of which are still in circulation. Price tags for this model are hefty, typically $10,000 or more.
The Douglas Anderson Percussion Ensemble is comprised of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors dedicated to the high-caliber performance of percussion repertoire. In addition to performing a variety of chamber and percussion orchestra works, the ensemble commissions new pieces and features compositions by its own members. Students in the percussion ensemble are active performers on and off-campus, and they regularly collaborate with other departments at Douglas Anderson. The program hosts world-renowned guest artists who present clinics, masterclasses, and recitals for the students.
Before the start of each school year, percussionists at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts attend Percussion Camp. The camp is similar to a summer marching band camp, but instead of learning marching technique and carrying drums outside, students focus on drumming and keyboard technique. They prepare short etudes that are performed for Orientation or Open House.