Dana Green directs orchestras with passion

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Violin bows flow up and down as Mr. Dana Green motions for a faster tempo. He suddenly crouches down and whispers for the orchestra to be quieter, and slowly increases the motion of his arms, up to a large crescendo, when he starts to scream “Yes!”

He cuts off the end of the song, and with a breathless voice mumbles, “That’s all for today, guys. Thank you!” With a hearty smile, he gathers his music materials and stays after class to aid students that are struggling with their music pieces.

“Not only do I love music, but I love teaching,” Mr. Green said. “What really makes my day is when I see a student do something that they couldn’t do at the beginning of the day, but could at the end of the day.”

Mr. Green studied music at DePaul University, where his father is the head of percussion, and found his first job as a high school teacher in Naperville.

He enjoys bringing passion and energy to the orchestra program. He believes that the full orchestral experience of VHHS is incredible for students to have because it puts an emphasis on the importance of music. He hopes to challenge his concert and philharmonic students to be successful in the symphony orchestra.

“The training orchestras for symphony orchestra are concert and philharmonic. Everything I do for them everyday is to try and get every single one of those kids ready for that challenge, so that symphony orchestra is as strong as it possibly can be,” Mr. Green said.

Mr. Green is thankful for the students and community of Vernon Hills who play a role in advancing the fine arts program. He is also thankful to the elementary and middle school teachers who prepared their students for high school orchestra.

“If students didn’t come in prepackaged and ready to go to play great music, then we wouldn’t be able to do it here,” Mr. Green said. “I think our middle school directors do a phenomenal job at every discipline preparing the students. The parents do a great job of making sure their children are not only disciplined and skilled, but kind.”

Some students of the orchestra program gave insight on their appreciation and respect for Mr. Green.

“He’s a good teacher, he’s very attentive, and I think he’s a good orchestra director,” Emma Stuart (12) said.

Caden Tran (11), commented on Mr. Green’s energy and ability to help each student of his improve.

This past summer, the students in the orchestra program had the opportunity to visit Europe during spring break. Mr. Green, along with chaperones, visited many places such as Vienna and Prague. They had the chance to play and showcase their talents in a handful of museums and churches.

Mr. Green grew up surrounded by instruments and music. At the age of five, he began to play the viola, only to realize seven months later, that he was actually playing the violin.

He went on tour with his dad who was in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and also visited Germany and France with his mom who was in the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Since then, Mr. Green has been completely exposed to the world of music.

“Music was everything to me. It opened up the world. It showed me how big it was, how small it was, and that really excited me,” Mr. Green said. “I had a great orchestra director in high school, and if I could do for other students what he did for me, that’d be a great calling.”

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