Deerfield’s new music director, Daniel Jackson, has an extensive background in music. Beginning his voice career in high school, Mr. Jackson performed in front of thousands in vocal ensemble, then went on to attend Florida State University, majoring in Choral Music Education—a perfect fit for his job here at Deerfield. After performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and taking a two-week tour of Vietnam, Jackson graduated and took a job at Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida, where he was deeply involved in the music program. Mr. Jackson also spent three years as the Assistant Artistic Director for the Garden Community Choir in Winter Garden, Florida, and spent eight years as the Chamber Choir Director at the Presbyterian Church of the Lakes.
At Deerfield, Jackson plans to try to create more opportunities for ensemble classes during the class day schedule. In addition, he hopes to specialize the ensembles, meaning particular classes will be for jazz, a cappella, percussion, or Gospel. Jackson feels these different types of ensembles could “really help to build cross-cultural connections and exposure on our campus.”
Juan Cabrera ‘16, an active singer at DA who spoke with Jackson during opening days, said, “I strongly believe that he is going to get more people involved in the arts in some form…it’s exciting to think more people will potentially be involved in something extraordinary.”
Not only does Jackson wish to influence our students’ musical talents through these new ensembles, Mr. Jackson mentioned that he also hopes “to be able to offer a listening ear, an open heart, and maybe a new point of view on what makes life worth living.”
Jackson understands that Deerfield will be a new environment for him and that he will have to learn the “communal rhythm.”
He added, “There are new responsibilities that I don’t quite have a handle on yet. The fact is, all I care about is teaching kids and having a positive influence on others. I absolutely love what I do.”