David B. Gardner, Director of Worship & Arts
Before coming to UPC, Dr. Gardner spent ten years as a college music professor at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS, and ten years as a worship pastor, serving churches in California and Arizona. His call to UPC was an ideal combination of his two vocational passions—to facilitate worship for God’s people, and to help others achieve musical excellence.
Dr. Gardner’s Carnegie Hall conducting debut was in March 2005, and he appeared there again in 2010. He has prepared choruses for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Arizona Symphony. In March 2008, he led the Southwestern College choirs in concert tour across Italy, culminating in a performance during Easter Sunday Mass at the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice. Other past projects include performing in concert and recording with Linda Ronstadt, and organizing and conducting 350 singers and instrumentalists in a memorial performance of the Mozart Requiem on September 11, 2002.
Dr. Gardner earned a DMA in choral conducting at the University of Arizona, where his principal conducting mentors were Maurice Skones and Bruce Chamberlain. In 2002, he was selected as one of 14 international conductors to lead the Grammy Award-winning Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) Choir and Orchestra under the tutelage of Maestro Helmuth Rilling in the OBF Masterclass in Conducting. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a second-place finish in the graduate division of the 2001 American Choral Directors' Association (ACDA) National Student Conducting Awards Competition. Dr. Gardner is a past president of the Kansas Choral Directors Association and a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.