David Dingess

Music Educator | Choir Director | Music Artist | Sound Designer

Photographer: Brad Higgins

Hi, my name is David. I am a Georgia native, born and raised in Stockbridge, and at age 10 I moved to McDonough. After graduating from Union Grove High School in 2010, I started undergraduate studies at Georgia College & State University, studying music education. I am now the Pre-K thru 5th grade music educator at Alexander II Magnet School in Macon, and i've been there for two years. I am happily married with two perfect cats.

That's my story, plain and simple. As for the love of music, there are four paths I will not cease to walk.

music EDUCATor

As a child, I was trouble. My memory isn't all that great, but my dad tells me he would drive to my school during his lunch break to punish me for something I was sure to have already done. This did not improve for me until much later in my school experience, but there was one place where my troubles and behaviors did not arrive, and that was music class.

My music teacher, Ms. Donna Drake, was the source of my joy. She taught me about reading, writing, singing and playing music. I excelled, and she did everything she could to foster my love for music. She is still someone I look to for guidance today.

It was in middle school when I combined my passion for music with my tendency to misbehave, because I started telling the music educators I loathed, "When I grow up, I am going to be 10 times the music teacher you are." It's funny looking back, but I really do hope that this is now the reality I am presently living. I strive to teach the students that see me on a weekly basis to read, write, perform and analyze music with excellence, become great musicians and most importantly great people.

Ms. Drake also made possible the most pivotal moment in my life: she encouraged my parents to bring me to a choir audition.


CHOIR DIRECTOR 

21531_282527448400_1235857_n.jpg

At age 8, I was admitted into the Atlanta Boy Choir. Under the direction of Fletcher Wolfe, my entire perspective of what music was flipped on it's head. I learned that music was a knowledge base truly never mastered, requiring constant determination, focus and precision. No longer was this all fun and games; this was an art form.

After 2 years, I auditioned for the Spivey Hall Children's Choir, under the direction of Dr. Martha Shaw. She was and is the loving mother of every student that walks onto that stage, and became this for me from age 10 until 18 when I graduated high school. She modeled what I intend to be every day in front of my choir: loving, demanding, consistent, dynamic, hilarious, wise, and fun. 

Next year I will begin my second year as the director of the Bibb County Honor Choir. It has been a wonderful adventure and I will never stop so long as there are great students who want to sing challenging music for the world.


MUSIC ARTIST

As early as 15, I put together a very limited bedroom studio and started recording music. I began playing piano by ear, and spent my restless nights listening to any and all music, wrote songs, and recorded melodies. I was allowed to listen to anything and everything, and no individual was ever supported more to develop their craft than my parents. As far as making my own music, I did it for myself. Never thought much about becoming a music artist, but I did perform at school talent shows, and played a few open mic nights. That was the extent of my artist profile.

My freshman year of college, I was exposed to the likes of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, and fell in love with their sound. Something inside me switched: I had to make music and share it. If those artists never did, how could I have had that first taste of music that truly spoke to me?

I started recording, and recording, and recording. Like, 12 hours a day for 3 months recording. (This explains graduating in 5 years instead of 4, and my student loans are my proof.) I made jazz, indie, rock, folk, acoustic, and even a capella music. 

It took me a while to get plugged in, but eventually I found some amazing musicians at Georgia College. I participated in the school's Battle of the Bands with a couple of friends, and one year, we took home first place. We got to open for Waka Flocka Flame, which is hilariously my greatest music artist accomplishment on paper. I played in a few college bands, and I got the full experience.

Over the past year, I have been so enthralled by what artists like Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Local Natives were doing. I wondered, "What is my indie rock sound?" 

The answer to that question is what arrived in April of this year. "To Undo Lost Meaning" is an album entirely performed, mixed and mastered alone, and I hope you enjoy it.


SOUND DESIGNER

I took a dance class in college, and made an amazing relationship with my professor, Julie Mulvihill. She knew about my music making habits. She asked me out of the blue at the end of a class if I would compose some music for a piece she was doing. She and her advanced class gave me nothing but positive feedback, and Julie opened the door for future projects of that nature.

Since then I have collaborated with several dance students in performance art projects, wrote underlying scores for GPB Macon, and have awards for composition in live theatre and television. This path led me to an amazing opportunity to train under Tony-award-winning sound designer Rob Kaplowitz, who in less than a week made me understand the realities and challenges in working in the profession of sound design, and gave me an unquenchable thirst for sound projects far and wide.