My parents blessed me with their love of music. Both were active in church and community choirs, and my father participated in a number of musical theatre productions. They had a large and varied collection of recordings, to which I spent many hours listening from a very young age. I would sing along with different parts, move to the music, and conduct the ensemble I heard from the sound system. We attended a broad spectrum of live performances and shows, both amateur and professional. Mom and Dad offered my brother and me opportunities to hone our vocal and instrumental skills through private lessons, music festivals and summer music camps, as well as music-making at home, school, church and in the community.
Much of my early training in voice was in church, school and community choirs, and I was fortunate to be guided by fine choral directors and teachers like Marie Moir, Brian Tisdale and Denise Narcisse-Mair. Beginning in secondary school, and continuing through university, I accompanied both private vocal students and choral groups, under the guidance of Mark Sirett and June Richards, learning much about the musical interplay between singer and collaborative pianist. Vocal pedagogy has been influenced particularly by the teachings of Kristin Linklater and W. Stephen Smith.
Having begun private piano lessons at age 7, I owe much to my teachers, including Christopher Hunt, Mark Sirett, June Richards and Ireneus Zuk. Mark Sirett has been especially inspiring as a lifelong friend and mentor in piano, choral conducting and composition. I also studied pipe organ with Christopher Hunt and F. R. C. Clarke.
My post-secondary education includes a bachelor’s degree in music from Queen’s University, a Masters in Folklore Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and doctoral studies in historical and ethnomusicology, focussing on contemporary Indigenous music, at the University of Toronto. Graduate work was followed by an education degree at U. of T. and studies in adult education at Nipissing University. Throughout this period, I continued to refine my competencies as a singer, pianist, organist, composer and conductor.
I have served as an examiner for Conservatory Canada in voice and piano, and have adjudicated for community music festivals in piano, voice, pipe organ and original composition. I have taught music in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, and have maintained a private music studio since 1991.
In leadership I have acted as musical director, vocal coach and collaborative pianist for productions of musical theatre. I have served as minister of music for communities of faith, and staff workshop leader for summer music camps. I was founding artistic director of the Rapport Singers of North Bay (1995-2010) and artistic director of the Sudbury Chamber Singers (1998-2004).
As a performer, creator and improviser, I have played for conferences, business functions, civic, academic and religious ceremonies, receptions, dance workshops, festivals, galas and celebrations. I have acted as a studio musician on multiple recording projects. I have been featured vocalist and played keyboard in jazz and contemporary music combos, and have created and performed on tour in original shows for schools, house and community concerts. As a composer, songwriter and arranger, I have been commissioned to write works for special musical events and other performing artists. It has been my pleasure to create soundscapes for drama, dance, visual art, and worship, using combinations of acoustic and digital sound.
Copyright © 2020-2021 David Melhorn-Boe