David von Kampen

Lecturer, Theory and Literature
Area of Focus: Jazz Studies, Music Theory

David von Kampen (b. 1986) is a composer based in Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s creative work spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, solo voice, chamber music, and musical theater. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska. He has studied composition with James Barnes, Dan Gailey, Forrest Pierce, Eric Richards, and Randall Snyder.

David is a six-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, a finalist for the American Prize in composition, and was named the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." He has been among ten winners of the ORTUS International New Music Competition, the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. Puddin’ and the Grumble, David’s original musical with playwright Becky Boesen, was one of seven finalists for the Richard Rodgers award.

David has over 80 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with Walton Music, G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, Santa Barbara, Concordia Publishing House, Pavane Publishing, UNC Jazz Press, Graphite Publishing, MusicSpoke, and others. His music has been performed by the KHORIKOS Vocal Ensemble, the Cambridge Chamber Singers, the L.A. Choral Lab, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, the Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus, San Francisco Choral Artists, the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and by collegiate, all-state, high school, and church ensembles throughout the United States and internationally.

David is a lecturer of music theory and literature at the University of Nebraska, where he directs the UNL Jazz Singers and Jazz Orchestra. He also teaches applied composition at Concordia University, Neb., and serves as Music Coordinator for Sanctuary Worship at Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln. David is a member of ASCAP, the Jazz Education Network, and the American Choral Directors Association. He is active as a conductor and pianist, and as a clinician for vocal and instrumental ensembles. He lives in Lincoln with his wife Mollie and two daughters.

What do you enjoy the most about being on the faculty at the Glenn Korff School of Music?

von Kampen: The faculty, staff, and students in this building are absolutely great to work with. Every interaction is a positive one. 

What do you want others to know about the Glenn Korff School of Music?

von Kampen: The students are doing so many cool things. Creative, self-starting musicians everywhere you look.

What are you most proud of in the area you work for the Glenn Korff School of Music?

von Kampen: I love teaching my theory and ear training classes, but building up the Jazz Singers since 2015 has been my favorite musical project.

What do you like to do outside of the Glenn Korff School of Music?

von Kampen: I hang out with my wife and daughters, watch baseball, direct my church choirs, and do lots of composing and arranging.