Dr. David Arbury grew up in Washington, DC where he sang from age 9 as a boy treble at Washington National Cathedral in the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys under Richard Dirksen and later, Douglas Major. He remained with the choir for 18 years and in that time sang with every voice part. Through the 1990s while still in the choir, he became active in DC’s thriving indie rock scene, playing drums and bass with several bands in the post-punk community there.
He has worked at the Music Division of the Library of Congress, co-founded an independent record label, conducted small ensembles, and is a founding member of the early music vocal ensemble Icarus. He holds degrees in music composition from the University of Maryland, Arizona State University, and Haverford College. From 2001-2003 he was Composer-in-Residence for the Cathedral Center for the Arts at Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix AZ. He was Vice-President of the Contemporary Music Society in Tempe AZ and founded University of Maryland’s New Music Initiative. He has frequently appeared as a guest lecturer and speaker, has taught as an adjunct professor at Catholic University and the University of Maryland, and currently teaches at Los Angeles City College and East Los Angeles College.
Arbury is the principal composer for both Wolf Knife and Prominence Films production companies and has worked on most of their projects for film and video including the live orchestral original score for “Of Fortune and Gold” (2015) which won Best Picture at the Boston International Film Festival. His choral music has been performed by top choirs all over the United States, including that of Washington National Cathedral. His choral works are featured on three albums: two from the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC – Christmas at St. Matthew’s and New Music from the Cathedral – and one – Cathedral Favorites – from the Trinity Cathedral choir in Phoenix AZ. His instrumental and electronic compositions have been featured in conferences and festivals hosted by Crossing 32nd Street, The Society of Composers, the Percussive Arts Society, the University of Maryland, and LAVAL Virtual, and an album of his chamber music – Alchemy – is available from New Ovation Music. He has received commissions and grants from numerous ensembles and organizations including the American Composers Forum, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Institute for Studies in the Arts, the Phoenix Arts Commission, Taffety Punk, and the Wolf Trap Foundation. His compositions for concert hall, church, dance, and theater have been performed throughout the United States and Europe.