a b o u t 

       

      Hello! I'm Dave. I'm a composer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I've tread many musical paths, from writing orchestral music for film, playing bass in a Johnny Cash cover band, to conducting contemporary opera. My eclectic background in music has shaped who I am as a person and who I am as a collaborative composer. I grew up playing rock and roll, singing in the choir at church, playing in brass bands, and listening to an unhealthy amount of John Williams and Nobuo Uematsu. I love storytelling and I seek to write music for stories, whether they are movies, audio dramas, video games or something completely different.

    I am currently serving as Teaching Assistant at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. From 2018-2022, I taught composition and theory at Bridgewater State University. I love helping young musicians find their musical voice and discover their superpowers. I get to empower the next generation of musicians by teaching Career Skills and showing them how to think like entrepreneurs and to create opportunities for themselves. I teach them how to serve their audiences and their communities. I produce a podcast called The Sand Dollar where I encourage others to do the real work they seek to do.

 

     I live in Jacksonville, FL with my wife, Navy clarinetist Sophie Kass.

 

c o m p o s i t i o n a l   p r o f i l e

 

Melody- storytelling, memorability, ear-worms, fragmentary, thematic development, hummability

 

Harmonic Language- non-functional harmony, superimposition, post-romantic, atonality, chordiods

 

Rhythmic Techniques- minimalistic textures, shelving, mixed-meter, groove-based

 

Experimental Tendencies- unusual instrumental combinations, de-tuning strings, eclectic percussion

Formal Concert Bio 2022:

The music of David Vess (b. 1991) has been described as everything from "ethereal and unique" to "a real barnburner". His most recent original score to Applause Academy's 2022 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was hailed as "a big highlight, greatly enhancing the audience's immersion into the magical world." Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Vess' music draws inspiration from his eclectic career as a musician. From playing in a Johnny Cash cover band, to singing in the choir at church, playing in New Orleans Style Brass Bands, and conducting contemporary opera, all of these different worlds find a connection in David's music.

David was named the 2022-23 Student Composer-in-Residence with Seraphic Fire through the University of Miami. Vess was the winner of the 2016 Roger Sessions Memorial Composition Award at the Boston Conservatory. His music performed across the United States, Canada, Italy and Japan. David has collaborated with such ensembles and soloists as the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, the Bridgewater State University Wind Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, the Boston Conservatory Sinfonietta, Shiki Duo and Bailey Street Brass Quintet, Sharan Leventhal and Kevin MacFarland. His recent trumpet ensemble work cometsong was the opening work featured at the 2022 International Trumpet Guild Conference in San Antonio, TX, conducted by Marie Speziale.

He served as the instructor of composition at Bridgewater State University from 2018-2022, teaching music theory, music appreciation, and career skills for musicians. David has played for numerous ensembles across New England, serving as Principal Tubist for the Cape Ann Symphony and the Brockton Symphony. He also served as assistant conductor at Boston Conservatory Opera, the Pacific Region International Summer Music Association and Miami Music Festival. Vess holds degrees in composition and tuba performance from the Boston Conservatory and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

David is currently 
pursuing his Doctorate in composition at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, serving as Teaching Assistant in Music Theory. He lives in Jacksonville, FL with his wife, Navy clarinetist Sophie Kass.

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Here are some of my collaborators so far:

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