Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to: 

  • connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
  • share ideas about learning and human development;
  • spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy. 

Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing. 

Michael Ulku-SteinerHead of School 


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If we build it, they will come

Having heard from a former teacher about two of our alumni stars (see below) and as we move into the thickest month of our Strategic Planning process, I have been thinking about my predecessor Ed Costello’s faith that “if we build it,” [an expanded Kenan Auditorium and arts spaces in the early years of this century] they will come.”

Ed knew that bricks and mortar were less important than teachers and programs. But he also understood that our then second-rate Upper School arts facilities simply would not support the kind of excellent programming we wanted at DA.

Within a few years of that strategic plan and subsequent capital campaign, we had a larger auditorium, renovated dance studio, expanded arts and music spaces, and . . . the teachers and students to fill them with beautiful productions. It’s hard to imagine today (in the era of full-house, professional-level theater performances and our array of instrumental, dance, and a capella groups) that our arts program has come so far, so quickly.

What effects will the 2015 Durham Academy Strategic Plan have on our school? Time (and our hard work) will tell.

Speaking of time and hard work . . . DA teaching legend Mary Clyde Bugg recently alerted us that “DA’s two world-class musicians are both to be featured in Durham this year.”

Pianist Andrew Tyson (describe by BBC Radio “a real poet of the piano. His piano playing is exquisite, flexible, subtle, colorful, passionate and daring...a star in the making.") will appear November 9 at the Carolina Theatre with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, playing pieces by Rossini, Haydn, and Beethoven in a program labeled “The Pinnacle of Piano Concertos.” Click here for more information and tickets.

Countertenor Anthony Costanzo (a regular soloist in the Metropolitan Opera company, labeled by The New Yorker as “A bona-fide star”) will sing April 11 at Duke’s Baldwin Auditorium as part of the Ciompi Quartet concert season. Click here for more information and tickets.

Click below to find out more about these stunningly talented DA alumni artists:

Posted by mulkus on Monday October, 6, 2014

1 Comment:

Strategic planning is such an exciting time. Putting our focus on the future is what education is all about. These very concrete (no pun intended) examples of why strategic planning is important make me even more excited to talk about the next chapter for DA. The results of Ed's leadership will be enjoyed by the DA community for many years. Although Ed typically avoids praise at all costs, there are many who are thankful for the positive changes he helped us achieve. Strategic planning may not seem exciting and students may not always know who to thank for the parts of DA they enjoyed most, but they are thankful, and for the many who have labored over the strategic planning process, that is all the thanks they need. Of course, stories like this are a terrific way to show our appreciation as well. 
from Michele Gutierrez on 10/08/14 at 10:37PM

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