The Kennedy Center

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Music Department


Duke Ellington School of the Arts is a public arts high school in partnership with the District of Columbia Public Schools, The George Washington University, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Ellington offers an academically rigorous college-preparatory curriculum and intensive arts training in vocal and instrumental music, dance, visual arts, museum studies, literary media, theater, musical theater, and technical theater.

The music faculty provides intensive instruction of the highest quality in voice, orchestral instruments, piano, and guitar, preparing students for college level professional music study and a music career. Ninety-five percent of our graduating students go on to stand colleges, universities, or conservatories, the majority of them receiving significant scholarships based on their musical accomplishments.

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/26/2015: Target Family Night: Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Three student vocal ensembles present The Many Moods of Ellington. The Mellow Tones, led by pianist and composer Mark Meadows, delights with compelling harmonies and improvisational stylings. The Dukes of Ellington, a young men’s choir (grades 9–12), performs standard literature for men's choirs and is led by Steven M. Allen. Sophisticated Ladies (grades 9–11), led by vocalist Sylvia Twine, offers classical and musical theater selections.

Video 3/10/2014: Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Spirited female vocal ensemble The Mellow Tones, The Sophisticated Ladies choir, and the Ellington Pianists perform an evening of music.

Video 9/15/2013: FOUR LITTLE GIRLS: Birmingham 1963

Project1Voice and Howard University—in cooperation with the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, African Continuum Theatre Company, and the Kennedy Center—present a staged reading of the play written by playwright Christina Ham and directed by Tony®-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, with original music and arrangements by Kathryn Bostic. The reading commemorates the 50th anniversary of the bombing that took the lives of four young girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Stay after the reading for a post-performance discussion. Free tickets for reserved seating will be distributed, 2 per person in line, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Hall of States.

Video 1/31/2012: Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir

The DC performing arts school presents an evening of soul.

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Music Department