Biography

David A. Wells teach­es bas­soon and music his­to­ry at the Sacra­men­to State School of Music. He earned the degree of Doc­tor of Musi­cal Arts from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin-Madison, where he stud­ied with Marc Val­lon; his dis­ser­ta­tion is an expan­sive his­to­ry and discog­ra­phy of the bas­soon in jazz. He also holds degrees in bas­soon per­for­mance from Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty and Flori­da State Uni­ver­si­ty, where he stud­ied with Jef­frey Lyman and Jef­frey Keeseck­er, respec­tive­ly. Dr. Wells has taught at the Fes­ti­val de Músi­ca de San­ta Catari­na in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil as well as at the Sequoia and Cal­Cap Cham­ber Music Work­shops in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. He has also given clin­ics for high school stu­dents in Cal­i­for­nia, Wis­con­sin, and Michi­gan. Dr. Wells serves as the Direc­tor of Oper­a­tions for the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Com­pe­ti­tion and Bas­soon Sym­po­sium, a bien­ni­al event that fea­tures a com­pe­ti­tion for young wom­en bas­soon­ists from North and South Amer­i­ca.

Dr. Wells is Prin­ci­pal Bas­soon­ist of the Sacra­men­to Choral Soci­ety and Orches­tra and the Townsend Opera, was for­mer­ly Sec­ond Bas­soon­ist of the Tal­la­has­see and Mobile Sym­pho­ny Orches­tras, and per­forms often with oth­er orches­tras through­out north­ern Cal­i­for­nia. He can also be heard play­ing bas­soon, clar­inet, and C-melody sax­o­phone in the gyp­sy swing quin­tet Hot Club Faux Gitane. His past per­for­mance activ­i­ties have been wide­ly var­ied, rang­ing from renais­sance and baro­que music on peri­od instru­ments (shawms, recorders, baro­que bas­soons and oboes) to avant-garde cham­ber music on elec­tric bas­soon with Down­beat Means Attack. Dr. Wells has given world pre­mieres of works by Stephen Blum­berg, Bruce Rieprich, Thomas C. Lang, and Stephen Lewis, among oth­ers.

In addi­tion to his career as a bas­soon­ist, Wells also devotes time to music schol­ar­ship. He earned an M.A. in His­tor­i­cal Musi­col­o­gy from UW-Madison while con­cur­rent­ly purs­ing his D.M.A. He is a con­trib­u­tor to the sec­ond edi­tion of The Grove Dic­tio­nary of Amer­i­can Music, writ­ing on a vari­ety of Amer­i­can per­form­ers and com­posers. Dr. Wells has pre­sent­ed papers at the con­fer­ences of the Amer­i­can Musi­co­log­i­cal Soci­ety, the Soci­ety for Amer­i­can Music, and the Inter­na­tion­al Dou­ble Reed Soci­ety.

Con­tact Dr. Wells at david.wells@csus.edu.