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Group of students pose for photo



Come Experience Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington is the only high school in the District of Columbia that accepts students based on a potential for the arts and not prior academic standing. The ability to excel in one of the school’s eight arts majors is given more weight than prior academic achievement - allowing the admissions process to identify both talent and commitment. Ellington is committed to admitting talented students who may be academically challenged or several years behind grade-level and providing them with the academic tools to succeed. Success in the arts awakens students’ self-esteem and their desire to succeed in academic as well as creative disciplines..

  • Duke Ellington students receive a pre-professional Arts Endorsement in addition to a traditional HS Diploma 

  • 99% of Ellington students graduate (avg of the last 3 years) compared to the overall 65% graduation rate across the district

  • Duke Ellington had 98.5% College Acceptance Rate in 2022

  • Over $11 million in college scholarships earned by the 2022 graduating class

  • US News & World Report has consistently ranked Duke Ellington in the Top 14% of public high schools nationwide.

  • Alumni include world- renowned performers such as opera singer Denyce Graves, Grammy-winning bassist Ben Williams, Comedian Dave Chapelle, and many more.

Exterior of Duke Ellington School of the Arts


Wondering if Ellington is right for you? Pay us a visit during one of our scheduled Open Houses – learn more about our extraordinary program and see us in action. We will have amazing content to share with you, behind-the-scenes access, live Q&A and breakout sessions to all of our Arts Departments. We look forward to seeing you!


Open houses generally run from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM and we recommend you join us for the entire program so you don’t miss anything! We will show you images of our newly renovated Ellington Theatre with a general presentation, and then go on to visit our arts departments. See and hear what life at Ellington is really like! Watch this space for updates.


Need a vocal coach? Want to review your portfolio? Want to observe a monologue? Interested in rehearsing?

Duke Ellington School of the Arts will be hosting PRE-AUDITION WORKSHOPS early in the calendar year. The Art departments at Ellington are offering pre-audition workshops to help you prepare for your audition next year. These auditions will allow you to rehearse, observe, practice, review and get feedback from our teachers before your audition!! Students who participate will be able to learn what to bring, review the audition procedures, learn how to build a portfolio, present their work with confidence and prepare their work for the audition.

LOCATION: 3500 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20007 


IMPORTANT NOTE: These audition workshops are solely to help you prepare for your audition and they are by no means a part of your application and admission into Ellington!


Pre-Audition Workshop Week 

January 09 - January 25 at 2:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. 

Audition Week 

February 6 - February 10 at 1:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

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