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David Whitman

Lecturer, Percussion Methods

David Whitman

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DMA, University of Southern Mississippi
MM, Kansas State University
BA, University of Wisconsin


Dr. Whitman holds a B.A. in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a M.M. in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from Kansas State University, and a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has been a member of the music faculty at San Diego State University since 2011. Since then he has also served as Adjunct Percussion Faculty at San Diego Christian College, and six years teaching percussion and music production at Guajome Park Academy, where he served for three years in an instructional leadership role as the arts and technology department head. He has provided clinic sessions for, instructed, and/or arranged for dozens of high school and college drumlines and ensembles.


Dr. Whitman was the Jazz Band Director at the University of Wisconsin-Stout during the 2004-2005 academic year, and as a teaching assistant he was responsible for big band jazz ensemble (UWEC), latin jazz ensemble (KSU), drum line (KSU, USM), percussion ensemble (KSU, USM), applied percussion lessons (KSU,USM), percussion methods (KSU, USM), basketball athletic bands (USM). In 2013 Dr. Whitman taught and performed in a brief residency at Kyushu Lutheran College in Japan.


Dr. Whitman has been a contributing author to Percussive Notes, the only peer reviewed journal for percussion, and has published musical arrangements/compositions with GPG Music and Really Good Music. He has served as an adjudicator for the International ENKOR competitions since 2014—-a series of international competitions held virtually for many categories of solo and chamber performance.


Dr. Whitman performed on the jazz big band recording Things to Come while a student at UWEC, which was nominated for a GRAMMY. His 2016 jazz album “Oh, Clara!” received Best Jazz Instrumental Album at the 2018 Independent Music Awards (held at the Lincoln Center), and a Best Producer nomination. In 2020, his jazz album “Soul Flow” received nominations for Best Blues Song (“Shuffle Blues”), Best Jazz Song (“With Love”), and Best Producer. It also received Silver Medallion recognition in the Global Music Awards in the categories of Composition, Jazz, Album, and Sound Engineering.


David has also toured the US and Japan as an educator and performer. Critics remarks include; “His spirit echoes the playing of Art Blakey,” and “his goal of capturing the high standards of … prestigious jazz labels is dazzlingly achieved,” with playing that is hailed as “swinging,” “mesmerizing,” and “invigorating,” with “mesmerizing brushwork,” “youthful exuberance,” and “deft technical skill.”


A REMO artist/educator, David has, so far, performed professionally (or recorded his own music) with Johnny Mathis, Andy Martin, Itzhak Perlman, Eric Marienthal, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Pete Townshend, Geoffrey Keezer, The Who, Jared Gold, and Roger Nierenberg, John Wooton, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, Chippewa Valley Symphony, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, Carnival Cruise Line, the San Diego Winds, and sometimes as a substitute with the San Diego Symphony, as well as with a number of Broadway tours, and a large host of other ensembles and artsits.


He has received special recognition for outstanding contribution to the Kansas State University Symphony Band and Marching Band, and is a member of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the National Music Honor Society of Pi Kappa Lambda, Golden Key International Honor Society, and The National Scholars Honor Society. He is also a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, and an honorary member of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference.


His most recent composition, entitled ” FAIR WAYNE” was composed in response to the 2020 Supreme Court decision to deny Fair Wayne Bryant’s request for a sentence renewal. In December 2019, The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire awarded David The President’s Award—-a highly scrutinized award for success in the chosen field and the highest honor that can be bestowed upon an alumnus of the school.