Meet Assistant Conductor David Rosborough

Earlier this month, we announced David Rosborough as the Phoenix Assistant Conductor for the 2020-2021 Season. We are eager to begin working with Dave and for our singers to grow under his leadership.

As is now tradition for new Phoenix artistic team members, we wanted to introduce our audience to “the person behind the musical resumé.”

Why Phoenix? What attracts you to this particular organization?

I’m very excited to be joining such an excellent group of musicians, and to have the opportunity to work with Nicholle.  Phoenix has, over the years, developed a superb reputation for programming challenging and interesting music, and performing it at an excellent standard.  Being in the “Phoenix Family” will undoubtedly be a great opportunity for me to learn from the singers and Nicholle, and to make outstanding music.

Is there something about the upcoming season that excites you in particular?

I’m very excited to explore creative solutions to rehearsing and performing music through a pandemic – this is going to force us all to reimagine what we do, and to focus on the things that we do that have the most value.  I’m sure that we’ll all learn a bunch of new things as we adapt our rehearsals and performances to keep everyone safe.

Much of the choral world is quite anxious right now due to the restrictions enacted by the pandemic. What’s your best encouragement to singers right now? 

Sing!  Sing at home, sing with your family, sing within your “bubble”.  Take the opportunity to build your repertoire in areas that you might not normally–I’ve spent the last few months working on some pieces that have been on my “to learn one day” list for (umm…) decades.  Grab a choral score and sing along with a YouTube recording.  Then, do it again while singing a different voice part than you’re used to, just to build those sight-singing skills!  (I’ve been having a lot of fun learning Alto parts for the Bach B-minor Mass!)

What are you listening to these days? 

Since we’ve been at home with the family so much, I’ve mostly been listening to music I think my kids need to know.  One of my daughters is very much into jazz, so we listen to Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Stan Getz.  My other daughter has discovered keyboard music from the Baroque era, so we’ve been listening to lots of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, etc.  And, I’ve been practicing piano a lot lately – so I’ve been pretty focussed on the solo piano repertoire of Chopin, Bach, and Rachmaninov.

Tell us about the person aside from the musical resume. What do you like to do? How do you spend your time? 

I never actually set out to be a choir director.  I decided when I was quite young that I wanted to be a teacher – and I had a fantastic Biology teacher, Mr. Kimoto, in high school, so I went off to university to get a degree in Biology and Chemistry, with the goal of being a science teacher.  I had always said that “I don’t want to teach music, because I love music and want to continue loving music”.  I ended up teaching Choir anyways, and I’m delighted to say that I still love music.  Currently, in addition to teaching high school choirs, I also teach IB Biology to Grade 12 students.  In addition to my “day job”, I also run a software development business that I started about 15 years ago.  And, I have a family – my wife, Marianne, and two teenaged daughters, Katie and Becca.

Here is another fun fact about Dave: during COVID, he has created a YouTube project known as the “Choir of Daves.” He wasn’t kidding about that bit about learning different choral parts–Dave has made a whole choir of just his voice. Dave’s creativity and positive attitude are of the many reasons we are confident he will be a great fit in the Phoenix Family. Welcome, Dave!