The DoSo Dance Band was officially launched in the fall of 2015 at both Neighborhood Music School and the Cooperative High School for the Arts & Humanities in New Haven, CT. There are many teachers and students contributing to the development of this concept. Below is information on the most senior members of the team.
David Mills began his teaching career when (at age 20) he was asked to teach music to reform school boys in a summer program. It was then that David realized music is first and foremost a form of communication, and even boys with no formal music training could pack a concert hall and bring down the house. Although David has enjoyed success with “concert music” as well as “social music,” he decided to found DoSo Music to concentrate on the latter. He began with DoSo Elementary and piloted progrms for underserved children in New Haven, New York and Nashville. In 2015 he formally launched the DoSo Dance Band designed bring together people of all ages and socio-economic circumstances. In 2017 David was one of twelve music teachers in the country to receive a Jubilation Foundation Fellowship.
Patrick W. Smith With a career centered in New England for the past 37 years, but with a truly national and international outreach, percussionist Patrick Smith has performed as a soloist with various ensembles on five continents. He us currently the director of “ONE for All,” the new educational initiative for Orchestra New England which seeks a seamless melding of classical music traditions with local and neighborhood cultures. In acknowledgement of his work as a teacher at Cooperative Arts High School in New Haven, Pat received national recognition as a receipient of the special Community Award from the Grammys. In addition, Pat is one of only two music educators ever to be awarded the Ellington Medal by the Yale School of Music for his work with today’s urban youth.
Thomas C. Duffy is Professor of Music, Director of Bands, and Clinical Professor of Nursing at Yale University, where he has also served as the Deputy Dean of the Yale School of Music. Tom is a well-respected composer and conductor for band, orchestra and choir. He has served as the President of the College Band Directors National Association and was selected as Outstanding Music Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Music Educators Association. Dr. Duffy, like Pat Smith and David Mills, is a master of differentiated instruction especially as it relates to creating music scores that can accommodate musicians with multiple levels of ability. Tom has played alto sax with the DoSo Dance Band — sometimes along side his son, Christopher who plays bari sax with the group.
Karen Pfrommer is the “social dance” expert on the DoSo Dance Band team. Karen is the instructor for the Yale Ballroom Dance Club, and she teaches ballroom dance as an accredited course at Quinnipiac University. Karen is certified with High Honors by the American and English branches of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD). As a dancer Karen has won a Northeast Regional Dance Championship, and she is the owner of the Dance in Rhythm Ballroom Dance Studio in Branford, CT. In addition to couples dancing, Karen teaches and invents line dances allowing young people the freedom to dance without a partner.