Conductor David Vickerman of San Jose State University joins me to talk about his career and share his wisdom. Notably, this includes an extended discussion about our responsibility as leaders to help promote diversity.
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Dr. David Vickerman, 2015 winner of The American Prize in Conducting, is the new Director of Bands at San José State University. In addition to conducting the wind ensemble and symphonic band, he teaches undergraduate and graduate instrumental conducting. Prior to his appointment at San José State University, he was the Director of Bands at The College of New Jersey where he established the Wind Ensemble as a regional model for performance excellence through invitations to the College Band Directors National Association and National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conferences. Before joining The College of New Jersey, he held the position of Director of Bands on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus where he conducted the Wind Ensemble and directed the Pep Band. In addition to his duties at SJSU, he has served as the Associate Conductor of Great Noise Ensemble, in Washington D.C. and he is a highly sought-after guest conductor having conducted numerous honor bands over the past five years.
A fervent advocate for contemporary music, Dr. Vickerman has commissioned works by eminent composers and conducted numerous world premieres with The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble and Great Noise Ensemble. He has also arranged several pieces for winds including Ára Batur by the Icelandic rock band, Sigur Rós, Observer in the Magellanic Cloud by Mason Bates and Craigslistlieder by Gabriel Kahane. In the fall of 2013, Dr. Vickerman conducted the premiere of the “Sgt. Pepper Project” with Great Noise Ensemble. This concert consisted of thirteen premieres, each based off of a track from the famous Beatles album. For a concert event entitled “Digital Embrace” at the Peabody Institute, he conducted a concert of wind band music that focused on the use of integrated live electronics. His primary conducting instructors include Dr. Edward C. Harris (Professor Emeritus from San José State University), Dr. Stuart Sims, Robert Ponto and Harlan Parker.
Dr. Vickerman regularly presents at regional, national and international conferences on topics ranging from teaching social justice issues in band, to the development of a computer-based conducting analysis system to assist beginning conducting students. His co-authored paper with Dr. Andrea Salgian, “Computer-Based Tutoring for Conducting Students,” was presented at the International Computer Music Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands in September 2016. He also accepted an invitation to present “Improve Band Performance with Socially-Conscious Repertoire” along with Dr. Colleen Sears, at the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference in 2017. Along with Dr. Sears, Dr. Vickerman is a founder of the Institute for Social Justice in the Arts and Humanities at TCNJ, which presents concerts, workshops and cross-departmental projects for the community.
Dr. Vickerman graduated from the Peabody Institute with a DMA in Wind Conducting in 2014 and a Master’s Degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Oregon in 2010. Prior to his work at the University of Oregon, he taught high school in California for 6 years after receiving a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education and teaching credential from California State University Stanislaus in 2002.
A podcast featuring conversations with teachers, composers, and performers of music for winds and percussion.