Friends University is mourning the death of longtime faculty member Dr. David Weber who died Jan. 22.
Dr. Weber served as professor of voice and head of the voice department at the University. He had been a member of the music faculty since 1973, and he won Friends University’s coveted W.A. Young Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993.
Friends University President Dr. T.J. Arant made the following announcement to the campus community on Monday: “It is with sadness that I report to you that our friend and colleague, Dr. David Weber, Professor of Voice, passed away Sunday morning. Please keep the family in your prayers. I know you will also be thankful in your prayers for David’s spirit, his wit and his goodness.”
In addition to teaching at Friends University, Dr. Weber served for 27 years as the director of Concert Choir, took the Concert Choir on several tours of Kansas cities, developed the high school master lesson program to help recruit fine arts students, and served as the music director of the University’s annual January musical production. He also developed a new course in vocal pedagogy, a two-hour course for music education and vocal performance majors dealing with areas such as breath management, vocal resonance, vowel placement, vocal agility and vocal health.
In honor of Dr. Weber’s 27 years as director, the 2007-08 Concert Choir commissioned a new choral work called “Here Inside My Heart” by Andrea Ramsey. A recording of the Concert Choir singing this piece can be heard below.
Dr. Weber earned a bachelor of music and master of music degree in voice performance from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. He then earned a doctor of musical arts degree in voice performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was elected into Phi Kappa Phi in 1987 for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in graduate studies.
During his tenure in Wichita, Dr. Weber became known throughout Kansas as a voice teacher, performer and adjudicator. Several of his former students include: Earnest Alexander, a gospel evangelist who has performed in every state of the United States and in Europe; Patrick Greene, a performer of opera and oratorio in New York City; Dr. Beverly Hubbard Clafflin, a performer/teacher in Minneapolis, Minn.; and Roger Miller, a performer of oratorio/cantata in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He was an accomplished soloist with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Music Theatre of Wichita, Wichita Chamber Chorale, Wichita Choral Society, Brevard Music Center, Cincinnati Opera Company, Hutchinson Oratorio Society, Winfield Oratorio Society, and the Salina Symphony. He had also been a soloist at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. For many years, he sang the role of the Evangelist in Friends University’s production of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
Dr. Weber adjudicated numerous regional and state music festivals in Kansas and Oklahoma. Since 1975 he had been a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) where he had served as the State Governor, Student Auditions Chair and a member of the Board of Control. He also served as the Regional Governor for the West Central Region of NATS from 1996-98.
Services will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church, 1600 W. 27th Street North, in Wichita. Attendees are invited to bring a score of Handel’s Messiah, as it was Dr. Weber’s and his wife, Linda’s, desire that a mass choir be assembled to sing the Hallelujah Chorus at the end of his service. A free, legal Choral Public Domain copy of the score can be downloaded from this link: music.untraveledroad.com/Handel/HallelujahPiano.pdf.
Memorials have been established with Friends University through the David Weber Endowed Scholarship Fund and with Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church’s Music Ministry Fund.
Thoughts, memories, words of encouragement and prayers can be shared with Dr. Weber’s family through this email: friends_of_Dr_David_Weber@cox.net.