David Neely, KU Director of Orchestral Activities, and Paul Tucker, KU Choral Activities Director, were both recently promoted to associate professor rank in the School of Music at the University of Kansas.
David Neely brings extensive international professional experience to the University of Kansas, having worked as a conductor in Germany for over 10 years. Equally at home in the symphonic and operatic areas, he has led concerts with the Bochum Symphony, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the Vorarlberg Symphony, The University of Texas Symphony and the opera houses of Bonn, Dortmund, Saarbrücken, Coburg, St.Gallen, Bielefeld, Kaisersautern, Halle, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He recently led Sarasota Opera's production of Moniuszko's rarely performed Polish opera Halka, having conducted that company's Die Fledermaus in 2006. In 2008, he will return to Sarasota to conduct a new production of Puccini's La Rondine.
Neely has conducted over 50 stage works, including Otello, La Forza del Destino, Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Hänsel und Gretel, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Werther, and La Juive. In 2000, Maestro Neely led the German premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's ENO-commissioned opera The Silver Tassie in Dortmund, and in 2006 he led the U.S. premiere of Robert Orledge's completion of Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher at the University of Texas. He also has extensive experience conducting ballet and musical theater. Active as a guest conductor with Sarasota Opera since 2006, he has led productions of La Rondine, L'amico Fritz, Die Fledermaus, and Halka.
Since 2003, he has been Associate Conductor with Des Moines Metro Opera, where he also served as head of music staff and Co-Director of their renowned James Collier Apprentice Artist Program from 2005-2009. For their 2010 season, he will conduct productions of Verdi's MacBeth and Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. In 2007 he was honored with one of two nationally awarded Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Assistant Conductor Grants for his work with at Des Moines. He is a respected vocal coach and collaborative pianist.
Previous to joining KU, Neely was Music Director of the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also served as Acting Director of Orchestral Activities for two years.
He holds degrees in piano performance and orchestral conducting from Indiana University and pursued post-graduate study in orchestral conducting at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music under Gerhard Samuel.
In February 2010, he conducted a series of five concerts with the KU Symphony Orchestra around the state of Kansas, which included a performance at the Kansas Music Educators Association annual In-Service Workshop and a performance in Great Bend attended by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
Dr. Paul Tucker is the Director of Choral Activities at The University of Kansas where he teaches Graduate Choral Conducting, Orchestral Bowing for Conductors, directs two of KU’s ten choral ensembles, and oversees all aspects of the choral program.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Tucker studied conducting and piano at the Jamaica School of Music with Dr. Kaestner Robertson. His musical experience includes owning and operating Sabre Sound Studio in Riverside, California, where he produced and performed on albums for various recording artists. He earned a Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, a Masters of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas.
He has taught choral music at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels, and has also served as Director of Bands at the junior and senior high levels. As a choral clinician, conductor, and adjudicator, Dr. Tucker has traveled across the United States, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Europe. Well-known for his unique approach to the tuning of choral ensembles, Dr. Tucker’s special interest in this particular area of music research has led him to develop a methodical approach to tuning. In addition to teaching his method in choral clinics, he has outlined these steps in a paper entitled Choral Intonation: A Proactive Approach.
Prior to joining the faculty at KU, Dr. Tucker served as the Director of Choral Activities at Richland College in Dallas, Texas. He is the founder, artistic director, and conductor of Paradigm Vocal Ensemble, a semi-professional choral ensemble based in Arlington, Texas. With this ensemble, he has recorded five compact discs, The Best of Paradigm, What Sweeter Music, Christmas Through the Ages, Paradigm Vocal Ensemble 10 Year Reunion, and Sing ‘til the Spirit Moves. Under Dr. Tucker's leadership, Paradigm Vocal Ensemble has appeared recently as the headline performers for the Kansas Choral Directors Association convention in Topeka, Kansas (2008), and the Nebraska Choral Directors Association convention in Crete, Nebraska (2009). Dr. Tucker pursues a varied music career as a conductor, pianist, composer/arranger, and record producer. Alliance Music Publishing and Neumark Music Publishing distribute his compositions.
“We are thrilled that both Professors Neely and Tucker have been promoted and granted tenure,” said Interim Dean Alicia Clair. “They continue to make remarkable contributions to the new KU School of Music.”
For more information, please contact the School of Music at 785-864-3436. www.music.ku.edu