SOP Podcast #114: David Danielson Eaton on the Importance of Enjoying Yourself When You Play the Organ, Concentrated Practice, And Being Open For Other People's Suggestions
class,’ ‘dynamic and consummately musical,’ ‘meticulous and powerful,‘ and ‘the zenith of musical talent.’
His appearances in the great Cathedrals and Churches in Europe, and various venues throughout North America, including Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, The Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, The Concordia Organ Series at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, The Old West Organ Society Summer Evening Concerts at Old West Church in Boston, and St. Thomas Church in New York City, have been met with great enthusiasm.
As church musician, he has held appointments in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Austin, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Carolina. Dr. Eaton served as Director of Music at The Church of St. John the Evangelist on Beacon Hill in Boston, and as Director of Music at historic St. Helena's Episcopal Church (founded 1712) in Beaufort, South Carolina.
For ten years Dr. Eaton served parishes in Texas, first as Director of Music & OrganistChoirmaster at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas, and then at All Saint’s Episcopal Church on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Dr. Eaton is currently Director of Music & Organist at The Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts.
While at St. Luke’s, Dr. Eaton reinvigorated a dormant music ministry that became recognized for exhibiting the highest standards of choral and organ music. Dr. Eaton passionately developed a Chorister Training Program based on the Royal School of Church Music model; was Founder and Artistic Director of the Music at St. Luke’s Concert Series which hosted over twenty-five musical events annually and focused on partnerships and collaboration with musicians and musical organizations within the community; managed the St. Luke’s Friends of Music which emphasized the cultivation of relationships that produced financial support for the music program; and led the Parish Choir on their first ever Pilgrimage to England where they sang in Canterbury, Southwark, St. Albans, Wells and Exeter Cathedrals.
Dr. Eaton has been the recipient of numerous academic and performance awards including the Elizabeth Margaret Meyer Award for Excellence in Music at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York. He was a finalist in the Arthur Poister National Organ Playing Competition in 1992; an E. Power Biggs Fellow with the Organ Historical Society; a Recipient of Fredrick Rahn Scholarship for excellence in academic achievement at the University of Iowa; is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society; and was received as a Distinguished Member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity.
Currently, Dr. Eaton serves on the Board of Directors for the Old West Organ Society (Executive Director, pro tempore), and as the Region I Chair for the Association of Anglican Musicians. Eaton has held numerous academic appointments. He was awarded a Graduate Instructor faculty position at the University of Iowa to teach undergraduate theory.
Dr. Eaton was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music (Organ) and College Organist at Bethany College where he taught organ, harpsichord, piano, church music and theory. He held an appointment within the performance faculty as Lecturer in Music at the University of Massachusetts at Boston where he taught organ.
He also served as Assistant Professor of Organ and University Organist at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he taught organ, piano, and theory. While on the faculty of The Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival, he taught organ, music history, theory and directed the Collegium Musicum, and then was appointed Executive Director.
From 2004 through 2014, Dr. Eaton served as The Bess Hieronymus Fellow on the music faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he taught organ and harpsichord. Eaton earned a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia College-New York, Bronxville, New York; a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
While in residence at the University of Iowa, he taught organ, keyboard harmony, and completed the Theory Pedagogy Minor. Eaton also attended the North German Organ Academy. His organ teachers include Richard Heschke, William Porter, Yuko Hayashi, Delores Bruch, John Chappell Stowe, Delbert Disselhorst and Harold Vogel.
In this conversation, David shares his insights about the importance of enjoying yourself when you play the organ, about slow, concentrated and careful practice, and being open for other people's suggestions.
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