David von Kampen

David von Kampen

Lecturer, Theory and Literature
Area of Focus: 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 three-time winner of the Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composers Competition, and was named the 2015 MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." David was the recipient of a 2015 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the 2014 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the 2013 National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the 2014 New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. In 2013 David was the recipient of the Cius Award, given to the Outstanding Student Composer at the University of Kansas.

David has over 50 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with Walton Music, G. Schirmer, Concordia Publishing House, UNC Jazz Press, MusicSpoke, and others. His music has been performed by professional, collegiate, high school, and church ensembles throughout the United States.

David is currently a lecturer of music theory and literature at the University of Nebraska, where he directs the UNL Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He also teaches applied composition at Concordia University, Neb., and serves as Music Coordinator for Blended 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, pianist and musical director, and as a clinician for vocal and instrumental ensembles. He lives in Lincoln with his wife Mollie and daughter Gretta.

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 Vocal Jazz Ensemble over the last few years has been my favorite musical project at GKSOM or anywhere else.

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.