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David Ashley White

Professor of Composition

David Ashley White (Composition, Former Director of the MSM), C. W. Moores, Jr. Endowed Professor of Music in the Moores School of Music and Composer-in-Residence at Houston's Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, earned degrees from the University of Houston (BM, oboe performance and MM, composition) and the University of Texas at Austin (DMA, composition). He served as Director of the Moores School from 1999 to 2014. His secular and sacred compositions are widely performed and published. His recorded vocal and instrumental works appear on several labels: on Zephyr, Echoes from the American Cathedral (St. Paul's Choir, Houston) and The Blue Estuaries (Houston Chamber Choir); on Gothic, Praise the Spirit (Palmer Choir), which contains anthems, motets, service music, and hymns, and on Albany, As You Set Out for Ithaka, which contains secular music performed by students and faculty from the Moores School. His most recent recording is also on Gothic, As the Night Fall…Music for Choral Evensong and Concert, and features the Palmer Schola Cantorum (Brady Knapp, conductor), as well as other musicians, including organist, Sigurd Øgaard. White's hymns appear in various denominational books, including The Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal), The United Methodist Hymnal, Great Britain's Worship Songs Ancient and Modern, and Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal. Selah Publishing has also published four volumes that comprise all of his hymns to date. A seventh-generation Texan, White received the Esther Farfel Award from the University of Houston in 2015, which is the university's highest honor, given in recognition of his teaching, creative work and service. Also in 2015, he won the national Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his choral composition, Spirit, Moving over Chaos (Selah). The American Guild of Organists honored White with its AGO 2016 Distinguished Composer Award at the organization's National Convention in Houston in June 2016. The prestigious award, created in 1986, is presented biennially to recognize outstanding composers of organ and choral music in the United States. Previous award recipients include Virgil Thomson, Ned Rorem, Dominick Argento, Conrad Susa, and Stephen Paulus. White's festival anthem, With a Shining Like the Sun (for mixed chorus, brass, timpani, organ and congregation, commissioned by the AGO), was premiered at the convention's opening convocation at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.