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David Schelat

David Schelat

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David Schelat (b. 1955, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is Director of Music at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. At First & Central he directs all music for worship and is president and artistic director of Market Street Music (MSM), a non-profit corporation that creates musical experiences for audiences and musicians in the Delaware Valley. For MSM, he produces Thursday Noontime Concerts and Festival Concerts, as well as conducts Center City Chorale (a community choir of downtown workers), and Mastersingers of Wilmington (a concert choir of professional and amateur singers). Committed to new music, Mr. Schelat has facilitated commissions by Bruce Neswick, Gerald Near, and James Bassi and has conducted a number of Delaware premieres of recent compositions. In addition, he has explored a significant amount of secular and cross-cultural choral literature with the choral ensembles of First & Central and MSM.

As well as writing for the ensembles he conducts, Mr. Schelat composes on commission. Recent commissions include Just a Regular Child for the chamber ensemble Mélomanie, Biblical Sketches for Trumpet and Organ (for the 2015 Mid-Atlantic American Guild of Organists (AGO) Convention in Pittsburgh), Anthem for the Annunciation and Before the Dawn of Time (for the 2013 SE Regional AGO Convention in Columbia, South Carolina) Fantasy for a Festive Occasion (for organist Marvin Mills), Organ Sonata (for organist Michael Britt), and What does the Lord require (for the East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh). His music appears in the catalogues of MorningStar Music, Selah Publishing Co., Augsburg Fortress, and Oxford University Press.

David Schelat is a frequent organ recitalist in the United States, and has been heard on the nationally syndicated program on National Public Media, “Pipedreams.” He has been heard in important venues such as Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago; Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina; Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta; St. Stephen’s Church in Vienna, Austria; and the Grand Ballroom at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. He has performed as organist, conductor, or composer for five regional conventions of the AGO, as well as for conferences of the Organ Historical Society, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

An an active member of the American Guild of Organists, he is presently past dean of the Delaware Chapter, and is also a member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. Committed to education of the new organist, he teaches organ on the keyboard faculty of the Music School of Delaware, is adjunct instructor of organ for the University of Delaware, has taught at numerous summer Pipe Organ Encounters (POE) for high school organists and adults, and was co-director for POEs in Wilmington in the summers of 2011 and 2014. David Schelat often serves as a workshop leader for AGO chapters, leading classes on hymn playing, new organ music, cross-cultural music for worship, choral music, and choral conducting. He served on the Delaware State Arts Council for 6 years, and in 2005, received a Wilmington Award for his longstanding arts leadership in the city of Wilmington.

Mr. Schelat studied conducting at the Dennis Keene Choral Festival, where he worked primarily with Dennis Keene (Voices of Ascension). Previously, he studied conducting with Maurice Casey at The Ohio State University and Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. He received his Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from The Ohio State University, his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and has pursued additional post-graduate studies at Syracuse University. He studied organ at these institutions with Will O. Headlee, Wilbur Held, and David Craighead.


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