Dr. David Howard is the Associate Director of Choral Activities at the University of Oklahoma, where he conducts the Men’s Glee Club and Women’s Chorus in addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate choral literature and choral conducting. He also coordinates the annual Young Men’s Vocal Workshop and Women’s Choral Leadership Workshop for secondary school singers. He is the founder and artistic director of Schola Cantorum Oklahoma, a professional ensemble dedicated to the performance of early music. He previously served as interim professor of choral music education at OU. His collegiate choirs, civic choruses, opera choruses, church choirs, and secondary school choirs in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan have been hailed for their beauty of tone, artistry, and clarity of diction; he is in demand as a choral clinician and adjudicator. The OU Women’s Chorus performed by invitation at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association annual conference in 2018. Dr. Howard also maintains an active performing schedule as a solo vocal performer; his recent album of sacred works for voice, harp and piano entitled Consecration on the Blue Griffin label is available on Apple Music and on Amazon Music. His scholarly writing and musical editions have been published in both the USA and the UK.
The twentieth‐century patron of art, Walter Hussey, once wrote concerning the artist of any discipline that, “His aim is to see clearly, to understand, to contemplate, and to express his experience with honesty.” I believe that Hussey’s words are particularly true for the conductor/pedagogue. To be an artist‐teacher of artists and teachers, one must see clearly, understand, contemplate, and express with honesty.
Choral music perhaps better than any other artistic discipline provides a framework for which the brotherhood of all mankind may be fully experienced and expressed. The human voice, while being highly complex in its structure and function, is an expressive instrument serving as a singular portal from which the deepest yearnings and expostulations spring forth from the soul by all, no matter the station in life. Moreover, when engaged with the intellect, the voice gives, to borrow a few words from Plato, “wings to the mind and flight to the imagination.”
As we join our voices together to sing, to refine our minds and voices united in purpose, our spirits answer man to man. We engage in an activity that is at once deeply personal yet universal, enlightening our common realities and transcending the temporal.