Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra

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David Sharp

Associate Conductor

David Sharp

Professor of Instrumental Music and Jazz at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa. Bachelor’s of Music in Composition from the University of Miami (Florida) and a Master’s of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


David Sharp stepped in to conduct Music On the Green for the Ottumwa Symphony in June of 2010, and has been an important part of OSO history ever since. Retaining his leadership of Music on the Green, he subsequently programmed, arranged and directed the Fall Concert each October for 5 years until Dr. Jones became Conductor and Music Director in 2016. At that time, David became the official Associate Conductor and exchanged the Fall concert for No Strings Attached, the Big Band which he established using horns, winds and percussion players from the orchestra. Their popular and successful debut took place as Ottumwa hosted RAGBRII in 2016, and their popularity continues as they play for the Christmas Ball each year and host an early Fall Music on the Green.2 concert. Most of their repertoire is music composed or arranged by David and tailored to fit the tastes and skills of musicians and audience alike.
David Sharp is the Professor of Instrumental Music and Jazz at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA where he directs the Indian Hills Jazz Band and teaches Music Theory, Music Appreciation and Applied woodwinds. From 1989-1998, David was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music where he taught courses in the jazz studies department. He earned his Bachelors of Music degree in composition from the University of Miami (Florida) and holds a Master of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As a free-lance saxophonist and woodwind specialist, David has traveled extensively throughout the Midwest and much of the United States. He has been a member of the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra since 1987 and was music director of the Monday Night Big Band in Lincoln from 1988-1997. In addition to performing with the Indian Hills Faculty Jazz Trio and leading his own small jazz groups, David is a regular performer with popular entertainers and regional dance orchestras such as the Bobby Layne Orchestra for 29 years. He has performed with several national and internationally renowned jazz and pop artists including the Woody Herman orchestra, Mel Torme, Claudio Roditi, Aretha Franklin, Terance Blanchard, Rob McConnell, Emil Viklicky (Czech Republic), Ivan Paduart (Belgium), David Friesen, Victor Lewis, Kerry Strayer, Marvin Stamm , Jay McShann, Dave Stryker, Lou Rawls, Rod Stewart, Shirley Jones, Bobby Vinton, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn iller Orchestra, and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show. He has also performed in pit orchestras of numerous Boadway national touring shows including “A Chorus Line”, “Grease”, “Damn Yankees” (w/Jerry Lewis), “Hello Dolly” (w/Carol Channing), “Big”, “Annie”, “How to Succeed in Business” and performed at the grand opening of the Stephon Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa, and in its 2008 production of “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum” (w/ Richard Kind).

Sharp is a regular guest lecturer and clinician on various jazz topics including history and appreciation, composition, arranging, improvisation, and jazz saxophone styles. He has been an adjudicator, clinician and guest artist at several colleges, high schools, and at numerous jazz festivals throughout the Midwest.
David Sharp is a prolific composer and arranger of jazz, big band, brass ensemble, and studio orchestra music. His works have been performed and/or recorded by numerous scholastic groups and professional jazz performers throughout the world including Paquito D’Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Terrell Stafford, Bobby Watson, Karrin Allyson, Paul Shaffer, the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, the Landes Jugend Jazz Orchestra Hessen, the Kansa City Jazz Orchestra, the Des Moines Big Band, and the Topeka Jazz Workshop. During the summer of 1997, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra featured his compositions and arrangements during performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. David was also the orchestrator of “Caucus!: The Musical” which had dozens of performances in Des Moines and New Hampshire during the presidential campaign from December 2007-January 2009. The political spoof received extensive coverage in the national press and television news programs. In March 2012, Sharp released a CD with the Jazz Underground entitles “Internal Dialogue” featuring several of his compositions. In addition, David has written and published two textbooks on jazz history.

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