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S. David Berry: Bio

S. David Berry, D.M.A., Composer and Philosopher of Music

David Berry began to study horn at the age of twelve. He started conducting and composing in high school and attended the Brevard Music Center (N.C.) for two summers. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Horn Performance from the University of Maryland—College Park. He is the first undergraduate to be named Associate Conductor of the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. He studied conducting with Edward Reger and Paul Traver, and composition with Lester Trimble and Emma Lou Diemer.

David fell in love with music of The Beatles and taught himself to play guitar. He formed a rock band, Anthem, with which he toured professionally for 9 years. David received national attention with their first album and the hit single “It’s You.” He later switched to playing keyboards.

After disbanding the group, he attended the Converse College School of Music (Spartanburg, S.C.) and earned his Master of Music in composition. There he studied with John Mac Lean. He re-formed Anthem, released a second album, No Evidence, and toured five more years before accepting a teaching position at Converse. He also spent six summers teaching, playing and conducting at the Brevard Music Center.

Berry earned his doctorate from The University of South Carolina—Columbia in composition. There he studied with Gordon “Dick” Goodwin and Sam Douglas. 2011–12 marks his 25th year of teaching at Converse where he is currently a tenured Professor of Music. He teaches composition, music theory, music history, music technology and music business courses. His most popular course is about The Beatles.

David Berry has been a passionate and devoted advocate of the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and has given courses at two Objectivist Summer Conferences and Quent Cordair Art Conference. Dr. Berry is currently working on several large-scale composition projects including a full-length dramatic oratorio Troiades (Trojan Women) based on Euripides and Quintus of Smyrna stories of the fall of Troy.

His primary interest beyond composing is music aesthetics, especially music cognition.

May 7, 2012