Dr. David Arbury grew up in Washington, D. C. where he sang as a boy treble at Washington National Cathedral in the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. He remained with the choir for eighteen years and in that time sang with every voice part. He has worked at the Music Division of the Library of Congress, co-founded an independent record label, conducted small ensembles, performed extensively as a bass and percussion player, and is a founding member of the early music vocal ensemble Icarus. While a graduate student, he was the vice-president of Arizona State University’s Contemporary Music Society and founded the New Music Initiative at the University of Maryland.
His choral music has been performed by top choirs all over the U.S. including the principal choir of Washington National Cathedral. His choral works are featured on three CDs: two from the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D. C. – Christmas at St. Matthew’s and New Music from the Cathedral – and one – Cathedral Favorites – from the Trinity Cathedral choir in Phoenix, Arizona. His instrumental and electronic compositions have been featured in conferences and festivals hosted by The Society of Composers, the Percussive Arts Society, the University of Maryland, and LAVAL Virtual.
As a composer, he is dedicated to community engagement and collaboration with other artists. The premiere of his work for concert band and solo rock trio, American Landscapes, was featured on Maryland Public Television, and the city of Rockville, Maryland commissioned his recent band and chorus work Song of These States. Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona commissioned God is Our Refuge, a piece for choir and organ, for the rededication of their organ after it was destroyed in a fire. He designed the soundscapes for the multimedia stage adaptation of the book Voodoo Dreams by award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, and his electronic music created a new, live virtual instrument for the cyberpunk play IM/UR.
He frequently visits young performing ensembles as a guest composer and has served as a lecturer on music technology and contemporary choral composition. He has taught at the University of Maryland as an instructor of music technology and the Catholic University of America as an adjunct professor of music theory. He served for two years as the Composer-in-Residence for the Cathedral Center for the Arts in Phoenix, Arizona and has received grants from numerous organizations including the American Composers Forum, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Institute for Studies in the Arts, the Phoenix Arts Commission, and the Wolf Trap Foundation. His compositions for concert hall, church, dance, and theater have been performed throughout the United States, as well as in Denmark, France, and Italy.