David Friddle

David Friddle
Some people are born to do a thing. From age four I knew that music would be my life. Toting my Magnus chord organ upand down Razor Drive in Greenville, SC, I gave indulgent neighbors improvised recitals.

Organ lessons began a few years later. I used the back of the pew in front of me to play along with the organist. Yet, it was the hymn singing that moved me most of all. For years I studied organ, then oboe and clarinet. My high school theory teacher was clairvoyant, however; she predicted I would one day conduct.

As it happens, I had a natural affinity for the organ and pursued degrees at Baylor and Juilliard. I decided to forego a career as a recitalist after the realization that (as my high school theory teacher had predicted) I really wanted to focus my energies on conducting.

Church jobs with choirs and community college instruction were enough for a while; I wanted to teach, though, and unsuccessfully sought a suitable position. After the third go-round, I quit this country for Italy, where, in six months, I studied the language and art. And, I ate.

Upon returning, I established my graphic/web design business in Greenville — an ancillary career that has served me well in every position I've ever held. Eventually I founded two mens' choruses (one in Greenville and the second in Asheville, NC) and began to compose in earnest.

Although I had no desire to return to New York, out of the blue an old friend and former employer called to offer me an interim position at a Park Avenue church. With its own community chorus (Central City Chorus) and funds for musicians, I was able to expand my repertoire.

Following my two-year term, I worked for a glossy magazine in New York—thinking yet again that I was finished with music. After the September 11 attacks, I, along with tens of thousands of others, lived in a daze. Unemployed, I could think of nothing that I wanted to do, until I realized that only conducting would bring meaning back into my life.

Pieces fell into place; I moved to Miami to complete my second DMA in choral conducting; along the way, Christus happened. Returning to school required a tremendous leap of faith, which is itself a testament to how committed I am to making music in an academic setting. My career has been diverse, non-linear, and decidedly non-traditional. I would not (indeed could not) have had it any other way.

And now at the beginning of 2009, I look to the future for the opportunity for which I have waited. Despite my best efforts, the years have shown again and again that I can't escape my first love and life-calling: music. It is part of my biology; music is in my cells; I live it, and it will go with me to my death. I can imagine no better companion and indeed I want no other.

In the meantime, that's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

For more information visit the composer's website.

View Choral Music by David Friddle

View Organ Music by David Friddle