Mr. David W. Vandewalker
As a veteran conductor and music educator, David W. Vandewalker is nationally recognized for his passionate pursuit of artistry; he is dedicated to establishing and maintaining a high standard of excellence in performance musicality, the modern wind band clarity of sound, and developing well-prepared future educators.
Mr. Vandewalker, a third generation band director, received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University, earned his Master of Arts in Education degree from Central Michigan University and is amidst dissertation research examining musical expression in performance as a Doctor of Musical Arts student at Boston University. He is the assistant director of bands at Georgia State University, where his primary responsibilities include conducting the University Band, teaching the Marching Band and directing the Basketball Pep Band. He is also the music director and conductor of the Metro Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE), hosted at Georgia State University.
Prior to his appointment at GSU, Mr. Vandewalker taught for 23 years in both middle and high school settings in Texas and Georgia. As a recipient of the Sousa Foundation's "Sudler Flag of Honor," the Harrison Band (GA) program, under his leadership, was distinguished as one of the strongest, respected, and well-rounded band programs in the United States. As a recognized mentor for student teachers and new teachers in a team-teaching environment for over a decade, Mr. Vanderwalker enjoys the opportunity to guide young educators in honing their skills and knowledge in wind conducting, literature, design, arranging, leadership, booster management, wind band pedagogy and ensemble skills.
David W. Vandewalker is a nine-time recipient of the National Band Association's prestigious Citation of Excellence Award, a three-time recipient of National Wind Band Honors Awards in the New Music category, and is recognized in multiple editions of Who's Who Among American Teachers. He has served Cobb County and the Georgia State Board of Education as a lead curriculum writer for band as well as GMEA as chair for the State Music Selection Committee for Band. Additionally, he is a previously nationally elected high school representative on the board of directors for the National Band Association; presently, he serves as a member at large on the NBA Board of Directors, the Sudler Flag of Honor Selection Committee for the Sousa Foundation, and the advisory board of the National Brass Symposium.
As a conductor, Mr. Vandewalker has led highly acclaimed concerts before the Midwest Clinic (two times), the Music for All National Concert Band Festival (three times), and the Georgia Music Educators Association (two times) and the College Band Directors Association/National Band Association Southern Division Conference. Performances under his direction have won the praise of such notable composers/conductors as Steven Bryant, John Mackey, Scott McAllister, Richard Clary, Ray Cramer, Michael Haithcock, Stephen Peterson, Kevin Sedatole and John Whitwell.
The Harrison Marching Band-under Mr. Vandewalker's leadership as artistic director and director of bands-was a 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Bands of America Regional AAA Champion, a Grand Nationals Finalist, performed in the 2007 St. Patrick's Day Parade (Dublin, Ireland) and the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The marching band also participated in Hollywood productions Drumline and Radio.
Mr. Vandewalker is the author of Boosters to the Rescue, 101 Ways to Harmonize the Madness for Music Educators, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity Instructional DVD, and Everyday Stuff Every Director Needs to Know: A Quick Start Guide published by Vision Publications. He is a highly sought staff development clinician frequently presenting at the Midwest Clinic, Georgia Music Education Association In-Service Conference, Texas Bandmaster Association Conference, Music For All Summer Symposium, Smith Walbridge Marching Band Directors Workshop, various state and regional conferences, and graduate seminar lecturer series throughout the southeastern United States.
He is affiliated with professional organizations that include the National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Association for Music Education, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Georgia Music Educators Association. Mr. Vandewalker and his wife, Pamela, reside in Marietta, Ga. where she is Minister of Worship Programming and Creativity at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.