Fine arts alumni – Where are they now?


Photo courtesy of Marshall Miller

JAMIN’ OUT: DGN graduate Marshall Miller plays piano in his college dorm.

Sarah Woods, A&E Editor

From hands-on classes to technology-based ones like Digital Music, DGN has lots of fine arts classes for students to take. As much as DGN tries to prepare fine arts students for their future, college can be unpredictable. Omega spoke to a few graduates to learn how they are using their fine arts education today.

Singer-songwriter 2020 graduate Elle Banke released  her first EP “Coronation Day” Oct.14. 

“Creating my EP, Coronation Day, was quite literally a lot of blood, sweat, and tears,” Banke said.

At DGN, Banke played with the marching band, sang in choir, performed for theater productions, and sang vocals for jazz band. These activities helped ignite her passion for music while also giving her needed experience.

“I’ve always lived my life in a way that had me surrounded by music. Life is so short, and I find it’s best spent doing things that set your soul on fire,” Banke said.

Banke has no signs of stopping after “Coronation Day”. She hopes to continue putting out music that will bring a new sound to the industry. For now, readers can listen to “Coronation Day” on all streaming platforms.


2022 graduate Marshall Miller also has experience with releasing music after high school. Marshall created many songs during his time at DGN, though none were released during his time as a student. 

“I was so uncertain about whether my work was good enough to put out into the world. I had made it a goal of mine to put out any of my music by the end of the summer, just to say I’d done it,” Miller said.

 Miller followed through with this goal and finally published his first single “Up” on Aug. 11.

Miller grew familiar with DGN fine arts through AP Music Theory, Digital Music, and sound designing for theater productions. To Miller, the most helpful thing that these courses provided him was a network to share his music with. 

“Having a community to present my work to is equally important to doing the work itself, and all you guys were so supportive once I got started,” Miller said.

In the future, Miller looks forward to putting out more music and possibly even collaborating with other local musicians. You can find his music via @marshall.musics on Instagram or Marshall Miller on Spotify.


Ethan Bell, 2022 graduate and former president of the National Art Honor Society, is spending his time in Purdue’s Art and Design program as a visual communications major. Bell felt well prepared for endeavors at Purdue due to the knowledge he gained through DGN’s teachings. He spent time in Digital Design and Photography classes learning the elements of art and design, skills that are essential for a visual communications major. The arts classes he took in DGN also gave him a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop and other design tools.

“Having an understanding of these tools from highschool has been helpful and made the transition into college and the course load easier,” Bell said.

Bell is planning to create a successful career for himself as a graphic designer using skills learned in DGN and Purdue. 

“I want to have a creative career and be able to design posters, graphics, and logos so that I can continue to pursue my creative passions as a career,” Bell said. 


Eliot Michaels is a graduated member of the 2021 class. Former president of National Art Society, Michaels took six art classes during his four years at DGN. He is currently studying product design at University of Minnesota. The product design program focuses on skills like traditional and digital rendering, 3D modeling, and prototyping. Because of this, he found Computer Art 1 to be the most helpful as it taught him how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

“Ultimately, college has been a different experience from high school. I love doing art but for school projects the creative work doesn’t involve the ink doodles I did at DGN,” Michaels said.

Though he wishes he could be a starving artist all his life, Michaels plans to design for a company post graduation.


Emilija Irvin, 2020 graduate, is currently double majoring in Basson Performance and History with a concentration in pre-law at Depaul University. Emilija spent most of her time at DGN in Wind Ensemble, pit orchestra, marching band, orchestra, pep band, and various chamber groups. Irvin credits these activities for fostering her desire to play music in college and beyond. Irvin is especially thankful for the amount of professionalism present in DGN’s band. 

“Learning lessons the hard way about what it means to be professional in high school saved me from making these same mistakes later on in college, and I am eternally grateful for the high standards the DGN band program held us to,” Irvin said.

Irvin also highlights the opportunities DGN provided her. Because of DGN’s support, she was able to participate in Solo, Ensemble, All District, and All-State concerts. Irvin was able to play with the Merit School of Music and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, both of which were because of the inspiration and pushes to success that DGN provided her with.

“These outside of school opportunities that DGN supported also benefited my growth as a musician, my resume, and furthered my desire to continue music in college,” Irvin said. 

Irvin continues to participate in band, orchestra, and chamber ensembles as required by her degree program Depaul University. In the future she plans to play in a symphony orchestra and teach bassoon to younger students.

“At the end of the day, I would love to support myself and make a living by playing my instrument,” Irvin said.