Extracurriculars for Students

Middle School Band, Chorus & Performing Arts

At Duke School, we offer a number of performance opportunities for Middle School students including chorus, band and performing arts (drama). We also have an arrangement with a variety of local music teachers who give group and private lessons to a range of ages on our campus.


Beginning Band is open to students in grades 4-8. No prior musical experience or ability to read music is required.
Concert Winds & Strings is open to students in grades 4-8 who have completed beginning band or who pass an audition.
Percussion is open to students in grades 4-8 who want to learn percussion.
Jazz Ensemble is open to students in grades 4-8 and there is an audition required.
Duke School offers four instrumental ensembles. All rehearsals are held in the Middle School Performing Arts room. Band practices are during the school day and after school.

Beginning Band
The beginning band is comprised of instrumentalists who are just starting on their instrument. This group meets three days a week after school for one hour and is open to all students in grades 4-8. In this ensemble, students learn how to play and care for their instrument, to practice proper rehearsal etiquette, and to become familiar with the basics of music literacy. Because we cover such foundational music skills, there is no prior music training required to be a member of this ensemble.
Concert Winds & Strings
This year, we are combing the concert band and orchestra. This ensemble is comprised of Duke School’s most experienced musicians. The group is open to students grades 4-8 who have completed beginning band or who pass an audition. In the Concert Winds & Strings, students are challenged by playing and performing music that is more demanding. Many students in the concert band also take private lessons on their instrument. This group best serves students who are serious about improving on their instrument and taking on musical challenges.
This class is for students grades 4-8 who want to learn percussion. We explore mallet and rudimentary snare drum technique and auxiliary percussion. This ensemble will learn some percussion ensemble pieces, learn the percussion parts for the Beginning Band and Concert Winds & Strings literature, and participate in performances with those groups.
Jazz Ensemble
The Jazz Ensemble serves as Duke School’s Jazz and Contemporary music identity. The group is open to students in grades 4-8 and there is an audition required. Most students in this group are also in the Concert Winds; however, it is not a requirement for rhythm section players (piano, bass, guitar and drum set). This ensemble best serves hardworking students who are interested in learning about blues, rock and jazz music, as well as methods for improvisation.


Chorus is open to students in grades 5-8. No prior musical experience is required.
Middle School Chorus is open to all students in grades 5-8. Singers, welcome!
Advanced Chorus is an auditioned ensemble for students engaged in developing harmony skills and vocal technique.
Our chorus meets twice a week to build community, experience a wide variety of musical styles, and strengthen confidence in our vocal ability. We develop our song repertoire by building on the interests of our singers and we love to share what we have learned with the school and community at Winter and Spring Concerts.  

Performing Arts

Drama is open to students in grades 5-8. Auditions are held for the fall play and spring musical. Students may also be members of the crew.
The after school drama program produces two shows each school year with a play in the fall before Winter Break and a musical in the spring.

Students will audition and rehearse two to three days per week after school from 3:30-5:30 PM. We strive to include as many actors as possible as well as a crew, run by students for the performances. 
 3716 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705  
Ph:(919) 493-1827 • Fax: (919) 419-1185
Admissions Inquiries | (919) 416-9420