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World-traveled Cruise Line Musician To Teach Band Ensemble, Guitar Theory Classes


Dan Wolfe

Dan Wolfe will teach new Band Ensemble and Guitar Theory and Practices Classes at DCC.

DANVILLE, VA, Aug. 7, 2014 -- A world-traveled cruise line orchestra musician, Dan Wolfe, will teach two new courses - Band Ensemble (MUS 149-50) and Guitar Theory and Practice (MUS 163-50) - at Danville Community College (DCC) this fall.

Wolfe was an orchestra musician on the Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines from 2010 to 2014, playing what he described as “full Broadway-type theater? productions in the orchestra pit. Wolfe has performed for such celebrities as the Temptations and The Four Tops. He also played his trumpet in a backup band for Don Rickles and Joan Rivers as part of their comedy acts at Cove Haven and Mt. Airy Resort in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

Wolfe plans to teach jazz improvisation in his two-credit Band Ensemble course, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m., in Temple 108. Wolfe described improvisation as “spontaneous composition? based on chords and song structure. He takes his inspiration from Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Phil Woods, known for his solo in the Billy Joel melody “Just the Way You Are.?

Wolfe envisions a “big swing band? at DCC that will play at various events on campus and perform one or two formal concerts each year.

“It will bring hopefully a better feeling of community, much like the Danville Symphony Orchestra,? Wolfe said.

For starters, the former orchestra musician said his band ensemble class will give students who played in their high-school bands an opportunity to keep picking up their instrument.

“It will give them a chance to play more and express themselves musically and also develop a deeper appreciation for the finer things in life culturally,? Wolfe said.

Wolfe also plans to introduce his students to concepts such as music theory and harmony, which he believes will serve them well if they transfer to a four-year college or university and major in music. Music is an important component of a student’s education, Wolfe said, because it is a “whole brain? experience that teaches problem-solving techniques. Besides that, it constantly presents new challenges.

“It’s always something new to learn – always a new song, always a new arrangement of a song,? he said.

Also on Wolfe’s roster as an instructor this fall is the Guitar Theory and Practice I class, which meets from 6:30 to 9:15 p.m., on Mondays and Wednesdays in Temple 108.The three-credit course is geared toward beginners or those who want to pick up their instrument again after years without playing.

“We’ll be emphasizing basic concepts, such as the correct way to play scales and fingering,? Wolfe said.

Wolfe holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from West Chester University (PA) and has taught at all k-12 levels in public and private schools. He is also the part-time minister of music at Ringgold Baptist Church.

Registration for Band Ensemble and Guitar Theory and Practice I are underway. Band Ensemble is available for credit or for non-credit as a continuing education offering for community members. Classes begin the week of Aug. 25.

For more information about both courses, contact the College at 434.797.8462, or or click here. To register for the Band Ensemble class as a non-credit continuing education offering, contact the DCC Workforce Services Office at 434.797.8430.


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