photo of author


DAVID WENDELL NELSON
16924 Uxbridge Drive, Truckee, CA 96161 Phone: 909-263-6396 musficta@gmail.com

David Nelson was granted a Ph.D. in music theory/composition in 1979 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. As a professor at Cerritos College in the Los Angeles area for over twenty-five years, he taught music theory, music history, composition, violin, piano, recording arts, and computer generated music. Professor Nelson’s musical training started at age 9 with the study of the violin. His list of works is varied, including commissions and pieces for orchestra, choir, string quartet, chamber ensembles, tones poems, and three musicals. The Sonoma Valley Chorale commissioned Dr. Nelson to write a number of works, including a Te Deum and a Christmas carol. The University of Alaska at Juneau also commissioned numerous works for solo violin and voice. Dr. Nelson has supplied the theater departments of Cerritos College and the University of California at Riverside with incidental music to a number of plays, ranging from Shakespeare to Strindberg.
Dr. Nelson is also a software developer and markets a number of products for aural skills practice and music fundamentals training. Many of his works include electronic media. Besides being a violinist, he is also a proficient guitarist, pianist, and pedal steel guitarist. In high school he performed with Stevie Nicks in the band “Changing Times.”
As an avid outdoorsman, Dr. Nelson incorporates environmental elements into his music. For example, his July 19th 1969 tone poem for full orchestra is a musical setting of the prose found in John Muir’s diary on the day he walked into Yosemite Valley for the first time. He recently completed The Dream of Sitting Bull, another tone poem describing the prophetic vision that Sitting Bull had before the battle of Little Big Horn.
Two of his musicals, Haight and L.A. Vida, have been fashioned into the eBook format and are available at the iTunes store for free download.
These eBooks contain hyperlinks to the songs on the musical websites. This new genre is indeed a book that sings to you. The eBook Solo on the JMT is also available through iTunes and chronicles Dr. Nelson’s 240 mile walk on the famous John Muir Trail.
For a number of years Dr. Nelson and his colleagues have provided music for the Sierra State Parks Foundation fund raising events at Vikingsholm on Lake Tahoe. He currently lives in Truckee California.