Conducting

Conducting 2018-09-30T02:10:39+00:00

David’s fierce musicianship and unusual versatility make him in high demand as a conductor of choirs, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. He is regularly engaged to lead performances and recording sessions of the thorniest of new music, and, at the same time, his orchestra’s pops and Halloween children’s concerts are can’t-miss occasions. Praised by musicians for his clarity and vision, and by audiences for his passion and warmth, he is equally at home with professional orchestral musicians and middle-school children’s choirs. His rigorous academic training and wide-ranging professional experience combine to yield exceptionally compelling musical results, regardless of genre and ensemble. They also travel well, with David an increasingly sought-after guest conductor and clinician in colleges and universities across China.

David has been conducting choirs for over twenty years, having founded the madrigal group More Fools Than Wise as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also served as assistant conductor of the WU Chamber Choir under John Stewart. Upon graduation, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he earned an M.M. in choral conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying with Beverly Taylor. While at UW, he directed the University Singers and co-directed the Masters Singers. Outside of the university, he directed the Madison Children’s Choir ensemble Cantilena and the Madison Yiddish Choir.

At Yale University, where he received his M.M.A. and D.M.A., David studied with Marguerite Brooks and Simon Carrington and co-conducted the Yale Repertory Chorus, Yale Recital Chorus, and University Chapel Choir. He also was an inaugural member of the internationally-renowned Yale Schola Cantorum, with which he performed in New Haven, New York, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. After Yale, David moved to New York City, where he spent five years as choral director at the Brearley School, was a founding member and co-conductor of C4: the Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, and ran the professional early music ensemble Guildsingers.

David now heads the choral program at Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) and is a co-founder and co-conductor of the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles (C3LA). He is in demand as a guest conductor, currently serving as visiting artistic director of the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company. He has also served as visiting artistic director of the Mountainside Master Chorale; more recently, at Pomona College and the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, he was the semester-long visiting conductor of the Claremont Concert Choir and Chamber Choir (Joint Music, spring 2017) and Pomona College Choir (fall 2017).

David’s first experience as an orchestral conductor was as an undergraduate at Washington University, where he served as assistant conductor of the WU Chamber Orchestra. As a master’s student in Madison, Wisconsin, he was graduate conducting assistant of the University Opera, and, for two summers, music director of the Madison Savoyards, which mounted semi-professional productions of Gilbert & Sullivan classics with full orchestra.

After focusing on choral music at Yale University and in New York City, he returned to the world of orchestra conducting in Southern California, appearing first as guest conductor with the Orange County Symphony in 2010, and then serving as the group’s music director from 2011 to 2016, conducting over thirty subscription and other concerts. In 2016, he left the Orange County Symphony to found and serve as music director of the Orchestra Collective of Orange County. Under David’s leadership, OCofOC presents an annual five-concert subscription series in Anaheim, Brea, and San Clemente, California as well as a pop-up chamber music series that travels throughout Orange County.

A composer and arranger himself, David has been committed to programming and presenting contemporary music throughout his career.

As an orchestral conductor, he has made it his mission to present at least one new work every season, and his ensembles have premiered works by Christopher Dietz, Reena Esmail, Drew Schnurr, Martha Sullivan, Dave Volpe, and others. He has led premiere performances and/or recording sessions of major chamber works by George N. Gianopoulos, Koji Nakano, Chinary Ung, Yii Kah Hoe, working with, among others, the Scripps College Music Department, the Claremont Concert Choir, the opera program of California State University-San Bernardino, Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles, the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and Brightwork newmusic.

As a choral conductor, David programs robustly from the late-20th and 21st centuries with all of his ensembles. He believes that the wellspring of choral (and all musical) repertoire must be constantly refreshed, and has conducted the world or regional premieres of over 50 choral works, primarily with C4: the Choral Composer Conductor Collective (NYC) and the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles (C3LA), but also with choral ensembles at Washington University; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yale University; the Brearley School; the Joint Music Program of Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges; and Chaffey College; as well as the Mountainside Master Chorale, the First Congregational Church of Riverside, and others.

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