Dr. David Chafe is an award-winning pianist and recording artist, twice recognized by the Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MusicNL) as Gospel Artist of the Year for It Is Well (2007) - his popular debut CD of hymns for solo piano - and for his follow-up album Bright and Beautiful (2008). He has also been recognized by MusicNL as Classical Artist of the Year for the album Over Hill and Valley (2008) with singer Christopher Bowman. This CD was also awarded Classical Album of the Year by Music Nova Scotia and was nominated as Classical Recording of the Year by the East Coast Music Association (ECMA). David has also recorded a popular and critically-acclaimed CD of sacred Christmas carols, Midnight Clear (2008) with singer and instrumentalist Andrew Dale. In 2014, David and longtime musical partner, trombonist Stephen Ivany, recorded This Shall Be for Music, a collection of folksongs by Vaughan Williams, Brahms and Mahler.
David is co-Founder and a past Artistic Director of Newman Sound Men’s Choir whose CD The Green and Salty Days earned the choir the 2011 MusicNL award for Classical Artist of the Year and an ECMA nomination for Classical Recording of the Year. Newman Sound won international acclaim in 2012 as Champion Male Chamber Choir at the prestigious World Choir Games, one of the world’s largest choir competitions. David’s playing can also be heard on the albums Lady Cove and Heart’s Content by world-renowned Lady Cove Women’s Choir, the albums Choral Voyages and Cantus Vocum Christmas by Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, and on recordings by gospel singer Mark House and the gospel group Celebration.
He has produced, hosted and performed in many concerts in St. John’s. In Fall 2017, he performed his first solo classical recital in ten years, featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Ginastera. David teaches piano and music theory privately, is mentor to many aspiring young musicians, and is accompanist for some of the most promising students of the MUN School of Music. He is also in demand as a private teacher and adjudicator for regional music festivals throughout the province.
David earned his Bachelor of Music (Honours; Piano Performance) in 2002 and Master of Music (Performance and Pedagogy) in 2004 from Memorial University of Newfoundland’s School of Music as a student of Dr. Kristina Szutor. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Memorial University, which enables him to manage his career as a teacher, performer, accompanist, recording artist, concert producer and musical director in his St. John’s home. In 2017, David completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at Memorial University following extensive research into the lives and work of numerous professional musicians whose careers are based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His thesis is entitled Price of a Gift: Lives and Work of Professional Musicians in St. John’s, Newfoundland . He plans to undertake additional research and writing further examining musician careers.
David has served as Chair of the Board of MusicNL and Waypoints, and has been active in numerous other community projects. In addition to his busy accompanying, teaching and research life, he is a singer and assistant pianist in Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, and pianist for Atlantic Boychoir of Newfoundland and Labrador, and is both an on-air personality and on the Board of Directors of VOWR Radio.