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Ken Davies Biography
A Wisconsin native, Ken Davies studied trombone and composition at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (B.Mus 1967) and attended graduate school at Yale in trombone. Following several years as a freelance trombonist and commercial arranger in New York and Boston, he accepted a position as trombonist with the 12-piece rock-fusion group Nick Russo & Gabriel's Brass based in Orlando, Florida and under contract to Walt Disney World from 1972-82. In Orlando, he was also active as a successful private brass teacher and commercial arranger. He wrote arrangements for several released recordings as well as two television Christmas specials which aired nationally in the top 40 major TV markets and on which he was also conductor and trombonist.
1991, he returned to school on a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at Middle Tennessee State University and completed his M.A. in trombone in 1993, studying trombone with Dr. David Loucky and composition with Dr. Thom Hutcheson. He continued composition studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder under Dr. Luis Gonzalez, Dr. Richard Toensing and Joseph Lukasik. He was awarded the Cecil Effinger Composition Fellowship in 1995 and completed his M.M. in composition in 1996. In 1998, he composed God, The Artist Of Creation for SATB choir and organ on a commission from the St. Barnabas Episcopal Choir of Denver who had received a commissioning grant from the American Guild of Organists for their national convention in Denver that year. His 1999 trombone etude book, 20 Pieces in Changing Meters was endorsed by some of America's most respected trombone professors and found use at several colleges.
Moving to Mississippi in 2002, Ken established his own ASCAP publishing firm, Kenvad Music. He has received grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. His acoustic and electroacoustic chamber music has been performed across America and internationally at new music festivals like Southeastern Composers' League, National Association of Composers USA, Society of Composers national and regional conference/festivals, Parma Music Festival, International Trombone Festival, College Music Society, London New Wind Festival (UK), Sonic Coast Festival (UK) Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Festival, the United States Army Band's Eastern Trombone Workshop and several concerts. His 2007 CD release on Pattisan Records of ambient electronic music, Floating Galaxy, has found additional listeners through licensing for uses in music therapy.
with various grants, Ken was
twice awarded the Mississippi Arts Commission's Performing Artist
in Composition (2006-2007 and 2012-13) and was added to the Mississippi Artist Roster. In 2009, his Three
Pieces for bass trombone
and piano won the Eastern Trombone Workshop National
Trombone Composition Competition and received its world
premiere performance by Charles Vernon. Other commissions and premieres have included Alpine Pastorale (for bass trombonist Jonathan Warburton), Crossroads for two trombones and piano (for Ben McIlwain), Collage 2013
for trumpet, trombone and piano for the Mississippi Music Teachers
Association (premiered by Jason Bergman, Ben McIlwain, Ellen Elder),
Brain Fantasies (premiered by Virginia Thompson).
Short BioWisconsin native Ken Davies holds an M.A. in trombone from Middle Tennessee State University at Murfreesboro and an M.M. in composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was a Cecil Effinger Fellowship composition student. During the 1970s, he was trombonist with Gabriel’s Brass, a 12-piece jazz-rock show band based in Orlando, Florida, often appearing at Walt Disney World. He has worked as a commercial arranger and session producer for nationally broadcast record and television projects. Since 2002, he has resided in south Mississippi where he teaches brass, and runs his publishing company, Kenvad Music (see at www.kendavies.net). His works include acoustic and electronic pieces that have been performed nationally at conferences and festivals by Society of Composers, Southeastern Composers League, Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers, Parma Music Festival, International Trombone Festival, and concerts. Honors include ASCAP awards, the Mississippi Performing Artist Fellowship in Composition for 2006-2007 and 2012-2013, grants from Mississippi Arts Commission and a listing on the Mississippi Artist Roster. His Three Pieces for bass trombone and piano won the 2009 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Composition Competition. He was the 2013 Mississippi Music Teachers’ Association commissioned composer. He has collaborated with his poet wife Judy to create a CD of poetic soundscapes featuring narrated poetry and electronic soundscapes. Their studio cats Little Fluff and Darius Meow supervise each piece of new music.
www.kendavies.net/kd-bio.html All content copyright © 1997-present by Kenneth W. Davies