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 is the Instrumental Music Lead Teacher at the Cooperative High School for Arts & Humanities. In 2016, Coop was given a Grammy Signature Schools Community Award for its innovative approach to urban music education. Pat is a virtuoso percussionist who has performed with orchestras all over the world. He is one of only two music educators to win the prestigious Ellington Medal from Yale University. Pat has developed a method of differentiated group instruction that allows students of all levels to work successfully side by side from the very first day they come together. He has also developed a method of rhythmic scale practice that begets fluent improvisation. Pat plays vibraphone, drums and percussion with the Neighborhood DoSo Dance Band.
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.