Q & A with Orchestra Program Director David Eccles
Get to know new Upper School Orchestra & Orchestra Program Director David F. Eccles.
David is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and the son of a music educator. From 2008 to 2019, David served as the Director of String Music Education and Orchestral Activities at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. He began teaching in 1992 and has held positions in Virginia, Florida, and Illinois. Mr. Eccles is also a clinician and consulting author for the Hal Leonard Corporation and a performing artist for JonPaul Bows.
When did you start playing an instrument? What did you play?
My mother is a chorus teacher so my first instrument was technically the voice. I started playing the cello in the 5th grade.
Why is music education important in the development of the whole child?
We are born as musical creatures. We have a heartbeat that drives us for our entire lives. We acquire language by listening to and mimicking the inflections of sounds we hear. Our days are governed by cycles of time that teach us structure and form. We are also social beings who thrive in supportive communities. The basic musical elements of rhythm, pitch, form, and range are the common threads that bind us all together. The study of music allows the child to artistically expand, refine, and sew these threads together to create a rich tapestry of active living through experiential learning. I am fortunate to teach analog skills in a digital world.
Congratulations on a wonderful Orchtoberfest!! How did you feel your first big Lovett showcase went?
The most exciting aspect of our first concert was the palpable feeling of success and pride exhibited by all of the student musicians after their performance. They were proud to share the fruits of their musical and academic labors with the Lovett Community. Concerts are truly a student-centered celebration of learning. I merely have the good fortune of having the best seat in the house as the young musicians display their talents.
Who is your musical hero and why?
My mother is and continues to be my musical hero. She is the best musician and educator I know. I seek and value her consult on all aspects of my teaching. Though she retired from public school teaching twenty years ago after a 35-year career in the classroom, she still maintains an active schedule of teaching, conducting a community choir, playing in church, and being an awesome grandmother.
What’s your favorite song?
My favorite song is any one of the thousands of tunes that seem to live in my head and accompany my day at any given time. All genres are included in my DNA playlist.