David Christopher, MM, CAGO, has served as the Organist and Director of Music at The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM) since April of 2001. During that time, he has developed a rich, multi-cultural musical and liturgical program based in the Anglican tradition, yet incorporating a wide range of musical styles including chant, spirituals, jazz, gospel and world music. As a liturgical organist, David’s unique style of improvisation and service playing has served as the “glue” which holds together a liturgy embracing the music of many styles, cultures and faith traditions.
Before coming to SsAM, David served as the Organist and Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in the Great Valley in Paoli, Pennsylvania, First Presbyterian Church in Newark, Delaware, and Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. David received his undergraduate degree in keyboard and vocal performance at West Chester University, and recently completed a graduate degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Donald Sutherland. Other notable organ teachers have included Harry Wilkinson, Robert Elmore and Alan Morrison.
As a conductor, David has built a varied and highly successful history as an interpreter of choral, orchestral and stage works. He has served as associate conductor for OperaDelaware where he made his opera conducting debut to critical acclaim in The Gondoliers (Gilbert & Sullivan), conducted Die Fledermaus (Strauss), and served as assistant conductor for numerous productions. Other operatic credits include Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), The Merry Widow (Lehar), La Traviata (Verdi), Savitiri (Holst), The Tender Land (Copland), Carmen (Bizet), The Nightingale (Stravinsky), as well as most of the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire.
Through his association as conductor for the City of Wilmington, David has served as conductor and music director for the All-American Tribute Orchestra as part of the annual 4th of July Celebration in Tubman-Garrett Park at the Riverfront in Wilmington. On several occasions he has conducted concerts featuring the sacred music of Duke Ellington (featuring jazz orchestra, soloists, chorus and dancers) in collaboration with Tina Betz and the City of Wilmington as part of the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington.
David is also the current artistic director of the Delaware Valley Chorale, a position he has held since 2005. Recent major oratorio and choral credits include Ein deutsches Requiem (Brahms) with DVC and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Messiah (Handel), Grand Mass in C (Mozart), Holocaust Cantata (McCullough), Chichester Psalms (Bernstein), Judas Maccabaeus (Handel), Lux Aeterna (Lauridsen), and Requiems by Durufle, Fauré and Rutter.
Also a recognized leader in training children’s voices, David founded The Wilmington Children’s Chorus in 2002 in collaboration with the Mayor of Wilmington’s Office of Cultural Affairs and The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew. Now a multi-cultural ensemble with over 100 children and staffed by some of the area’s finest music educators, The Wilmington Children’s Chorus has become one of the premiere children’s choirs in the region.