David A. Wells teaches bassoon at California State University, Sacramento, California State University, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Delta College. 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 Townsend Opera Players and the Merced Symphony, 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 and clarinet 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 forthcoming 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 and the International Double Reed Society.