Chorus Master David Gailey returns for a second year to direct Mid-Texas Symphony's Community Chorus.

Chorus Master David Gailey returns for a second year to direct Mid-Texas Symphony's Community Chorus.

David Gailey is a second -year graduate student at Texas State University in San Marcos where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting.  Prior to landing in Texas the Michigan native taught elementary music education and conducted three different curricular choirs in Traverse City Michigan.

“I love conducting community chorus,” he says.  “And do you want to know why,” he asks in a conspiratorial voice, “because they want to be here. They want to sing. It’s been a long day at work but when they get to rehearsals they are ready to sing. I love that about community choruses. ”

A multi-talented musician, Gailey has been singing since the age of seven when he joined the Michigan State Children’s Choir in East Lansing.  He conducts, performs, sings baritone, teaches voice, and plays the piano.

“I had an epiphany the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school while at the Seminar Music Camp in Kalamazoo. I knew then I wanted to make music my career,” Gailey said. “Luckily it has led me to here,” he says with a wide grin.

The most difficult thing about pursuing a career as the chorus master, the choir teacher, the leader – is doing exactly that – the leading. “Always being the leader is difficult,” he shares. “I always need to be at my best because it is vitally important to set a good example for the other choristers. It comes naturally 90 percent of the time,” he continues, “but the other 10 percent can be very demanding.”

Gailey believes everyone can sing, and in when he is in rehearsals it is obvious that he loves helping the chorus members find their voice or just as importantly – their breath. He has the chorus do lip trills making everyone laugh, he has them place their fingers on either side their heads like antennae or horns or swing their arms in and out with each breath. It looks like fun but serves a vital importance. It is all about the breath.

“You do not truly teach someone to sing, but rather you guide them and give little tweaks to help along something that is a natural part of us being human. The main component is breath; teach someone to breath in order to sing and you are teaching them to sing like a professional.”

Gailey is truly an educator and it shows. He loves sharing music theory or music history when he thinks it will help the singer understand how to best communicate the meaning of the piece being sung.

“Music theory can be daunting but a couple of small things can and will help a casual singer understand the what, when, why and where. It and music history can give us context and help us be respectful of the original piece of art,” he says. “For example, you may need to know English was not Handel’s first language when singing the Messiah; it was in fact, his fourth. Knowing that as a singer is helpful when we are trying to understand how a certain passage is phrased.”

NOTE: Look for announcements about rehearsal times, dates, and place here. This year's MTS Community Chorus will perform Vivaldi's Gloria with the orchestra on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Jackson Auditorium at 4pm.