- This is Poly
Dan Doughty’s core educational philosophy is that all of us, without exception and particularly young people, can and should make music. So it comes as great news that Dan was promoted to the new position of Director of Music at Poly.
In this newly created role, Doughty said, “I will supervise and support N-12 music programs and faculty, with particular attention to the transition between the Lower School and the Dyker Heights campus and aligning our co-curricular opportunities, such as our Poly Conservatory program.”
Doughty joined Poly in 2006, and served as Chair of the Performing Arts Department since 2014, and Middle School Performing Arts Coordinator from 2009-2014. He teaches Middle School general music, directs the Middle School and Upper School choral ensembles, and has been the musical director for 14 musical productions, seven in the Middle School and seven in the Upper School.
As Chair of the Performing Arts Department, Dan Doughty led the Concert Choir to perform in Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Czech Republic, and Cuba, as well as five performances at Carnegie Hall and one at Lincoln Center.
Under his leadership, Poly Arts has added advanced courses to provide greater opportunities for students to achieve excellence in the arts, and supported the development of new classes, adding a Middle School String Ensemble, and, in the Upper School, new courses such as the Collaborative Piano Skills class and this year’s new Music Production.
“Making music is a human endeavor, and it is important to me that all Poly students have a positive experience as they learn and grow as musicians.”
Doughty is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the National Association for Music Educators, and the New York State School Music Association. He has served on the board for the Kodály Organization of New York since 2017 and is currently serving as co-chair of the Fall 2021 Equity and Diversity Summit. Through the years, he has performed with various choral, opera, and musical theater ensembles nationally and internationally.
“During the pandemic year, Dan undertook the crucially important work of developing health and.safety protocols for music-making and other performing arts activities for our return to campus. It was his caring diligence that led the way for a thriving performance season despite the many challenges we faced,” shared Michael S. Robinson, Head of Arts.
What This New Role Means for Students
Doughty explained, “Having a more focused purview will allow me to focus my support and resources on the music faculty and developing opportunities that continue to challenge and inspire our students and grow our program. I am especially excited to work more closely with and provide additional support to our Lower School Music teachers. They do a fantastic job with their classes, concerts, and after-school programming, and I look forward to working with them.”
This new position is a definite plus for Poly Arts. “Over the years,” Doughty said, “the Performing Arts Department and our programs have grown tremendously. As the department chair for the past seven years, I have worked with colleagues on many initiatives: Together, we have increased and developed in-school class offerings, added opportunities such as the Preseason Theatre Workshop, created advanced classes in the Upper School, expanded our publicity and communications presence, built the Strings program, refined our Poly Conservatory program*, and added additional faculty positions. To continue this growth across all disciplines of Poly Arts and maintain our level of excellence, it became clear that more focused oversight of these growing programs was an essential next step for our success.”
An exciting time for Poly Arts is underway. “I have many ideas for the continued expansion of the Music program,” Doughty said, “beginning in the 2020-21 school year with a new Music Production class and further development of our Poly Conservatory and Lower School Conservatory programs. With more focused attention, I am optimistic that I can help bring all of the Music Department’s ideas to fruition in the coming years and continue creating new opportunities for our students.”
Doughty would like parents to know that music is taken very seriously at Poly. “We provide opportunities that challenge even our most experienced performers while maintaining a community experience that welcomes all students,” he said. “Making music is a human endeavor, and it is important to me that all Poly students have a positive experience as they learn and grow as musicians.”