UMass Boston

Continuing a Half-Century of Teaching and Composing, Professor David Patterson Presents "A Senior Recital" on Oct. 20

09/15/2023| Performing Arts

First arriving at UMass Boston in 1972, Professor of Music David Patterson isn’t hinting he’ll be retiring soon, yet he is inviting everyone to what may be the last major concert of his works on campus.

David Patterson playing piano

Continuing a half-century of teaching and composing, he’s taking inspiration from students and faculty colleagues. He’s remembering the tradition of bards and folksingers, composers like Vivaldi and Bach, who made music for the people in their small towns. A Senior Recital is for the UMass Boston community in that same way.  

“I get so much energy from the students, and I’ve always shared many of their dreams,” Patterson said. “'Cinematic Somnium', for example, came about from students echoing a desire to compose for the moviesAnd one morning, students, on hearing me improvise, claimed to my surprise, ‘that sounds like neo soul.’ So…'Sonata in Neo Sol.'”  

Choristers, alumni, faculty, and a guest artist will present Patterson’s A Senior Recital to the community on October 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at University Hall. Admission is free. 

The UMass Boston Chamber Singers, directed by David Giessow,  are premiering several pieces, including "The Opossum". Patterson is also looking forward to performing with recent graduates, vocalist Ashley Villard ‘22 and saxophonist Gerardo Alvarado Rivas ‘23, as well as faculty colleagues and a guest artist.  

Patterson’s last concert at UMass Boston was “#FERGUSON” in 2016, a musical reflection of his growing up in Ferguson, Missouri, in light of the city’s strife in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer. That concert played to a packed Recital Hall, and the music dealt with painful and controversial themes.  

Along with the pieces premiering, the evening will include some important past works. "Isle of Hope", his setting of the well-known text by Emma Lazarus, commissioned for the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Awards Interfaith Prayer Service, opened the 2002 celebration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City. And, of course, Patterson’s setting for the "Alma Mater" for UMass Boston, composed in 2016, and sung at every commencement and every performance of the UMass Boston choruses since. 

An anniversary song, "To Only You", will be shown with a video of images by Patterson’s wife, TenBroeck Davison (’82, ’01), the “Penguinator,” who counseled Boston Public School students, her office painted after an Antarctica sky, her guidance inspired by penguins who exhibit “caring, acceptance, decorum”—Patterson's theme for this recital for the UMass Boston community. 

RSVP to A Senior Recital.