About Dan Mitchell


Email: mitchelldan@deanza.edu

I retired from the De Anza faculty at the end of the 2016-17 year, but I am leaving website resources here for now. This is temporary and at some point old materials will be removed.


I am also a photographer. Many know my landscape photography, but I also do nature, night, street, and travel photography

My book, California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra (Heyday Books, Berkeley) was published in the summer of 2015.

Two of my night photography prints were accepted into the Nocturnes and Noir exhibit at the Harvey Milk Photo Center in San Francisco, February 11 through April 2, 2017.

For the fifth consecutive year my photography was selected for inclusion in the Yosemite Renaissance exhibit in Yosemite Valley after which the show tours California.

Five of my prints were included in The Great Certainty: Photographs Commemorating 100 Years of National Park Stewardship at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley in 2016.

In September 2016 I presented book talks at several Bay Area REI stores.

Each October I exhibit at San Francisco Artspan Open Studios with Studio Nocturne SF — a San Francisco Bay Area night photography collective.

De Anza College has a wonderful photography program — consider enrolling in a photography class!

I retired from the De Anza College faculty at the end of the spring 2017 term in June. If you are a student, community member, or other person looking for information about the music department or the college, please check the class schedules at the De Anza College website or contact one of the current music faculty members — see the Music Department website for more information..

I retired from the De Anza full-time music faculty at the end of the spring 2017 term.

I am fortunate to have had a wonderful career in education and music, and I’m grateful to students and colleagues who made teaching such a rewarding and meaningful experience. (In a reflective moment during my final term I realized that more than 20,000 students have been in my classes!)

Submerged Boulders, Lake, and Cliffs

Submerged Boulders, Lake, and Cliffs.

During a previous millennium I earned a Master of Music degree in Theory and Composition from San Jose State University where I studied electronic music with Allen Strange. As a student I worked closely with electronic instrument builder Don Buchla and performed live electronic music with Biome and The Electric Weasel Ensemble and others. As a professional trombonist I performed a wide variety of music ranging from rock to jazz and classical.

My first teaching assignment was in 1977-79 as a graduate student working as a para-professional teacher at Foothill College, where I taught sight singing and ear training labs. From 1979-1989 I was an adjunct faculty member at Foothill, De Anza, Ohlone, and Mission Colleges, teaching electronic musicintroduction to musicmusic fundamentals, and music reading. I first taught at De Anza in the 1980 winter term after being hired to teach electronic music (using an old monophonic synth and an open-reel tape recorder), and I soon began to teach Introduction to Music classes. (Meanwhile I continued to work as a professional musician, and for a time I was the stage manager for the San Jose Symphony.)

je suis bleu

Sidewalk, graffiti covered wall, and women (virtual and real) on a Paris street

I joined the De Anza full-time faculty in 1989, teaching mostly Electronic Music and Introduction to Music classes. During my tenure I was president of the Academic Senate, worked on many committees, led workshops for faculty and others, co-chaired accreditation self-study teams, taught the first online class at the college, and even created the first De Anza College website in the 1990s. I was an Apple Distinguished Educator, a participant in the New Media Consortium, and one of the original participants in the California @ONE project.

I am an award-winning published photographer working as G Dan Mitchell. I exhibit, sell prints, license photographs, and write on photographic subjects. My photography has been exhibited at The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite Valley, the annual Yosemite Renaissance exhibition, the Harvey Milk Photo Center, San Francisco ArtSpan Open Studios (where I exhibit with the night photography group Studio Nocturne SF), The Stellar Gallery, and other locations including public and private facilities in Death Valley National Park, the Carmel area, San Francisco, Chicago, and in Europe and Australia. My photographs appear in books and magazines, and I present talks on photographic subjects. I am the author of California’s Fall Color: A Photographer’s Guide to Autumn in the Sierra (Heyday Books, Berkeley), 2015.

Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake

Shoreline Reflections, Tenaya Lake

Retirement from De Anza is a beginning rather than an ending. It feels a bit like graduating and heading out into the world all over again! My professional photography, now becomes my full-time focus.


From time to time I may update this page to share information about things I’m doing, projects I’m working on, places I’m visiting, and so forth. Check back if you are interested. Or not… ;-)

This website is not hosted by the college. I maintain it at personal expense, and no college funding is used. The free hosting service may insert commercial messages that I do not control or endorse.