David Upham, Music Director & Conductor, is recognized as an outstanding conductor of a wide variety of ensembles, leading performances hailed for their brilliance, warmth, and expression. In addition to his work with the Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra, he currently serves at the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of New Hampshire, where he is also the founding Music Director of the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra program. During his time at UNH, the orchestral program has grown through his efforts and from collaborations with the UNH choral, opera, and dance departments.
Prior to his current appointments, David led a multi-faceted career as a conductor in the Seattle region. In his tenure as the Music Director of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, he invigorated both the orchestra and audience members alike with his creative programming and accessible community outreach activities. He also served as the Music Director of the Young Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra at the Seattle Conservatory of Music, and the Associate Conductor of the Rainier Symphony Orchestra. David has also led the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (NH), the Northwest Mahler Festival orchestra, and ballet performances with Ballet Bellevue and the International Ballet Theater companies in Seattle. He made his international debut in at the French contemporary music festival, Aujourd’hui musiques, leading works by György Ligeti, Christian Dachez, and Paul Evernden.
Passionate about training future generations of musicians, David has served on the faculty of a wide variety of summer music festivals, including UNH’s own Summer Youth Music School. He had a long tenure on the conducting staff of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, and led performances at the Marrowstone Music Festival as well. He conducted the New Hampshire All-State Orchestra in 2012, and is active throughout the country as a guest conductor and clinician.
David’s principal teachers have included Peter Erös and Dr. David MacKenzie, and he has worked with great conducting pedagogues like Marin Alsop, Jorma Panula, Larry Rachleff, Don Thulean, John Farrer, and others. David’s education and career has led him to conduct orchestras across in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and he holds degrees from Luther College (IA), the University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Washington.