In 2000, DA’s Piano program was recognized as the best music program in Northeast Florida and was awarded the Jacksonville Symphony Association’s Harmony Grant. The Piano Department offers serious young pianists a unique opportunity to be in an intensive and varied program and to work with internationally acclaimed guest artists. Many of the guest artist opportunities result from grants received. For example, the Surdna grant has provided for a visit from Dr. Laitz, Eastman School of Music in New York, who will visit in September to give master classes and lessons to piano majors. He will demonstrate music analysis as the key to unique interpretations at the piano and how this organic way of looking at pieces is applicable to tonal works ranging from Bach to Debussy.
Our students will attend the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra rehearsals as well as a piano weekend at North Carolina School of the Arts. The Chamber Music Institute of the North Carolina School of the Arts is a rigorous program in which students quickly grow and mature in their performance abilities. Performing chamber music begins with the blending of several instruments and musicality of several musicians working together to produce an intimate portrayal of the music.