David R. Davidson – five years later

Durd margarita laughter

Durd. One of my favorite people in the world. Musical father, spiritual shepherd, ‘rita King. Miss you as much today as I did five years ago.

I remember it all. I remember laughter and tears, inspiration and frustration, margaritas and Bellinis, Handel and Eva Cassidy, Santa Fe and Prague, snobbery and humility, hugs and belly laughs, Stephen Paulus and Craig Barnes, cross-on-a-stick and Jeff playing “Hey Mickey” during Communion while David tried to hold it together. I remember when he had something profound to say, he’d lean back, cross his arms, and smile. I remember Taize services, Mi Cocina dinners, Thanksgiving afternoons, email forwards, spins in Silver Sassy, and patent leather shoes with bows (not mine, by the way).

David took me to my first opera. At the Met – Rigoletto.

I still remember my audition for DSC.

“I’m sorry, you’re studying what?”




One of my favorite moments was during a rehearsal when he was totally frustrated. Instead of screaming, which he could easily have done, he said, “Here’s the thing. You have to look at me. If you don’t look at me, our eyes can’t connect, our souls don’t meet, and we can’t make music together. So, look up.” Brilliant advice for directors and people who aren’t connecting with each other, dontcha think?

There were so many talks, so much advice, and so much love.

My admission to the Manhattan School of Music and Pat’s studio came to David’s fax at HPPC. He was proud. “We did it.”

He was not proud when I admitted that I was dating Herr Hair. “What are you doing?”

Music was a small part of what I love about him. Father, grandfather, brother, son, friend, and husband…he cared so very much about the Davidson crew and his various “families.” Midnight visits to those in need of his pastoral (that’s what it was) care. Support in any way he could when someone needed him. An unparalleled blend of conductor, minister, and humble servant.

And a wicked, wicked sense of humor mixed with fantastic timing.

Many, many people in this world were made better people because of him. What a legacy. How lucky we all are to be able to say, “I remember that smile.”

Listen to “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations and raise a margarita today.

Durd at St. Stephansdom, Wien

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