Blake High School is Hillsborough County's Performing Arts High School. We have a first-class facility with 25 practice rooms and a state of the art theater. While being taught by our renowned faculty, your student will hve the opportunity to take a wide var9iety of music courses including Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Marching Yellow Jackets, Music Theory 1 & 11, AP Music Theory, Guitar, Piano, Harp, Chorus, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony and more!
The advantages of going to Blake are numberous. Students in the band program are provided private lessons by adjunct instructors who are professional musicians in their specific instruments. All music students at Blake are serious about their craft and work hard to maintain a high level of excellence. All music students are exposed to music theory classes that help prepare them for college. Blake HS boasts the most amount of students in All State and All County in HIllsborough County. The literature covered by the bands are played at the University level.
This program is designed to expose students to quality band literature, as it relates to significant historical periods. The students will be required to perform within ensembles and as soloists. There will be in depth discussions about, but not limited to, tone quality, articulation, musicality, literature, and instrument pedagogy. Students will be exposed to professional performances on and off campus. Students that graduate from Blake HS will be college ready for a career in music.
Dan Dubay, Director, Concert Band
Dan DuBay was appointed Director of Concert Bands at Blake High School of the Arts in Tampa, Florida in 2010. His responsibilities include the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Music Theory Classes. The bands have consistently earned Superior ratings at all FBA District and State Assessments. The Blake Band has been a demonstration band at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference and has performed worldwide, most recently in Ireland.
Mr. DuBay is a graduate of Cooper City High School in Cooper City, Florida under the baton of Mr. Terry Gladfelter. Mr. DuBay later graduated from the University of South Florida, where he studied with Dr. Mallory Thompson, Ivan Wansley, and Valerie Gillespie. Prior to teaching at Blake HS, Mr. DuBay taught 15 years at Durant High School in Plant City, Florida. He has been honored as a Hillsborough County Teacher of the Year twice. Mr. DuBay is an active drill writer, guest clinician, and adjudicator throughout the country. He also served as a conductor for a Florida/Georgia honor band that traveled around Europe.
Mr. DuBay is married to Melanie, who is also a band director. They live in Tampa and have a beautiful 4 year old daughter named Emily and a 1 year old son named Aidan.
Carmen Griffin, Director, Marching Yellow Jackets, Jazz Studies
Carmen Griffin is the Director of Jazz Studies at Howard W. Blake School of the Arts, where she also teaches Music Theory, World Music, Jazz Theory, and is the Director of the Marching Yellow Jackets Band. Carmen cultivated her music career at Blake under the direction of her father, former Blake High School Band Director, Robert Griffin, now, Director of Jazz Studies at Florida A&M University. A trumpeter in both the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, Carmen was a part of the group that gained notoriety at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, taking the stage with Wynton Marsalis, and later toured Japan as part of a foreign exchange program. As a result of mentorship received from then Lincoln Center trumpeter Terrell Stafford, Carmen participated in the Vail Jazz Fest in Vail, Colorado, affording her the opportunity to study with and perform alongside Jazz greats such as John and Jeff Clayton, Monty Alexander, Regina Carter, the late Ray Brown, as well as contemporary artists such as Lakecia Benjamin, Maurice Brown, and David Wong.
Carmen's musical study continued at the University of Central Florida under the tutelage of John Almeida (trumpet) and tenor saxophonist Jeff Rupert (Jazz Studies), as lead trumpet for the UCF Jazz Ensemble, also playing lead as part of a Disney Collegiate band. She began her teaching career at Blake in 2009, and since then has had the pleasure of being the Clinician for the Northwest Hillsborough County Middle School All-Star Jazz Band (2016), the Pasco County All-County Jazz Band (2017), the Hillsborough County All-County Jazz Band (2019), and Clinician for the Hillsborough County Jazz M.P.A. (2020), respectively. Her Marching Yellow Jackets Band can be seen featured in the Tampa Bay Bucs commercial “Hey, Hey, Tampa Bay” (2016), as they recorded the soundtrack for the promotion, as well as the N.F.L. Pro-Bowl Opening Night Ceremony (2018), and for the New Orleans Saints football team (2019).
Winter Auditions will take place in January. Spring Auditions will take place in March. Once you have applied, you will receive an email with step-by-step instructions for your audition! Use the link at the bottom of the page to access the music specific to your instrument. Auditions will be in-person. You will receive an email with dates and times once you have applied.
We look forward to your audition for the Blake HS Band Program. Below is some important information to help your audition be successful. Please read through these directions. If you have any questions please ask your Middle School Director to help you. I would also let your Middle School Band Director know that you are auditioning for Blake so they can make sure you have everything you need to have a good audition.
Blake HS Band Auditions
Here is some info to help you prepare for your audition to Blake HS.
Please refer to the email regarding specific requirements for your audition. Some aspects will be different than what is listed below. The link at the bottom has the CORRECT music for the audition.
- Make sure to bring your own instrument and music (music can be downloaded on the next link)
- The only instruments that will be supplied will be the snare drum and marimba for percussion students.
Percussion students will need to bring their own sticks and mallets.
- Students will be required to play scales and the audition music. Percussionists will be required to do scales on the marimba, play the marimba exercise, and play the snare exercise. The audition music is the same as the middle school all county music.
- Dress professionally (like you would for a job interview)
- Your body language tells us a lot. Please smile when you come in the room. We are happy to see you, please be happy to see us too. We are not that scary.
- We will ask you a few questions at the end of the audition.
- Tell your Middle School band director you are auditioning for Blake. I will be contacting them to gather information about you. I am always surprised to hear that the middle school teacher doesn’t even know you are auditioning for Blake. Many times they can help you with the audition.
Best of Luck!
Links to live recording of the Blake HS Wind Ensemble