David A Wehr

David A Wehr
David A Wehr

Dr. David A. Wehr began his career in Boise, Idaho as Organist‑Choirmaster‑Carillonneur at The Methodist Cathedral of the Rockies. From 1962–1968, his Cathedral Bell Ringers, part of a music ministry that encompassed twelve choirs and over 400 participants, made annual coast‑to‑coast tours with guest appearances at the Seattle, New York and Montreal World's Fairs, Disneyland, and the US Senate Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Following faculty appointments at the University of Miami and Eastern Kentucky University, Wehr's musical life was based in Texas from 1979–2008, where he served as Director of Choral Activities at Houston Baptist University, Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony Chorale, Co‑founder of the professional Concert Chorale of Houston, and Director of Music at First United Methodist Church.

 

Author of over fifty published works for choir (including the oratorio Prophet Unwilling), organ, handbells, and carillon, he has received numerous ASCAP awards. Conducting highlights include a nationally televised PBS broadcast of Handel's Messiah (Houston), regional premieres of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (Miami), Britten's Cantata Academica (Houston), and Rutter's Magnificat (Southwest), and preparing choirs for performances at New York's Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Riverside Church. Wehr and his wife Nancy recently moved to Catonsville, Maryland, where he remains active as a guest conductor, clinician and speaker.

 

Dr. Wehr earned degrees in organ (student of Alexander McCurdy and Edward Mead) and voice and conducting at Westminster Choir College, where, as a member of Westminster Symphonic Choir, he performed under the baton of Igor Stravinsky, Bruno Walter, and Leonard Bernstein. At the University of Miami, he completed a Ph.D. in conducting (student of Frederick Fennell and Lee Kjelson) and choral literature with the historical study John Finley Williamson (1887–1964): His Life and Contribution to Choral Music. Other aspects of his musical career include performing as soloist with orchestra as pianist (Schumann Konzertstuck), organist (Poulenc Concerto), baritone (Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn Elijah), and narrator (Honegger King David). He has played leading roles in opera (Pagliacci, La boheme) and musical theater (Oklahoma, Music Man), was an official carillonneur at the Seattle and New York World's Fairs, and was a member of the prize‑winning barbershop quartet, the Gem Dandies. Among his most prominent former students are tenor Barry McCauley (Metropolitan Opera) and pianist (and son) David Allen Wehr (Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair, Mary Pappert School of Music) at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

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