Dana Duncan-Davis is a professional violinist, violist and teacher. Raised in Augusta, GA, Dana began to play the violin in the Richmond County public schools and after high school went on to study violin at Augusta State University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in violin performance. Continuing her study at The University of Akron, she focused on violin and viola, obtaining a Master of Music degree in performance. Her musical studies also included participation in the Brevard Music Festival, and several summers at the Meadowmount School for Strings and The Encore School for Strings. Additionally, she completed a certificate in Arts Management with the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts. Her musical career has spanned over three decades and has included private studio teaching of beginners through standard repertoire, directing a high school orchestra and college studio teaching of violin, viola and string orchestra, as well as maintaining positions as an orchestral violinist.
During college, at the suggestion of her violin professor, Dana began spending summers training as a Suzuki teacher at numerous Suzuki Association of the Americas summer Institutes, including the American Suzuki Institute (Stevens Point WI,) Greater Washington Suzuki Institute (Washington DC, ) Capital University Suzuki Institute (Columbus OH, ) Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute and numerous other Suzuki Association of the Americas training locations. She had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki himself at the American Suzuki Institute, and took part in a teachers class taught by him. She continues her professional development by attending the Suzuki Association National conferences, study retreats for professional violinists, and the biennial Starling-Delay Symposium on violin studies, held at the Juilliard school.
Throughout her career, Dana has maintained a busy symphonic performance schedule, having performed in many professional orchestras around the country including the Augusta Symphony, Akron Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Wooster Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Kalamazoo Symphony, Savannah Philharmonic and the Hilton Head Symphony.
Dana's first Suzuki teaching experience was with the Suzuki Strings Augusta program, under the direction of Lois Akins. She later founded a Suzuki violin program in 1987 in Akron OH, known as NOTE (Northeast Ohio Talent Education) and directed that program until 1993 when she relocated to Corpus Christi, TX and began the Del Mar College Suzuki program. While at Del Mar College, in addition to teaching young violinists, she also taught college level violin and music education courses, as well as a course in violin pedagogy methods. In 1998, Dana moved to Kalamazoo, MI to assume the directorship of Kalamazoo Talent Education, a program that was founded in 1973. During the 17 years that Dana was there the program reorganized and changed its name to Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo and grew from 3 teachers to 10 faculty, expanding its violin and viola offerings to include cello, bass, piano, flute, guitar and early childhood music. While in Michigan, Dana taught for 17 summers at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and 9 years at Hillsdale College (1995-2015), maintaining a studio of violin and viola students and directing the Hillsdale College String Orchestra. Upon relocating to Georgia, she accepted a position as Orchestra Director at Beaufort County High School in Beaufort SC, a position she held until moving to Marietta, GA.
Many of Dana’s former students have enjoyed much success, winning competitions and positions in All-State orchestras, as well as performing in Master classes and even concert performances with world-class artists, including Midori and Sarah Chang. Many of her former students have embarked upon musical careers, performing professionally and serving in universities and community teaching positions. Dana continues to joyfully teach students from preschool ages to adults.
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