Shawn W. Davern
Shawn William Davern (b. 6 December 1994, Syracuse N.Y.) is an American composer, arranger, conductor, trombonist and educator.
Davern received his bachelor's degree in music education at Boston University where he studied trombone with Don Lucas and conducting with David Martins. He also studied at the Royal College of Music in London. Shawn received his master's degree in wind conducting at James Madison University where he served as the graduate assistant of the university's concert and athletic band program under the direction of Dr. Stephen Bolstad. His primary composition teachers are Eric Guinivan and Chuck Dotas.
Mr. Davern is a member of the Millennium Composers Initiative and a featured composer for Orange Line Brass. During his time in Massachusetts, Shawn was the recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Music Educators Association Promising Young Music Educator Award and served as the trombone workshop assistant at the 2019 Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Davern’s compositions and arrangements have been performed in the United States, United Kingdom and South Korea with a series of concerts presented by Trio Modern Harmony in the Summer and Fall 2022. His composition entitled The Natural Lands: Suite for Tuba Euphonium Quartet was the recipient of the International Tuba Euphonium Associations 2019 R. Winston Morris Award for Excellence for Tuba Euphonium Composition. His composition for wind ensemble entitled An Elegant Sufficiency was named a finalist twice in the National Band Association William D. Revelli Composition Competition and performed at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference by the Valley Wind Ensemble. The composition was also named a national finalist in the American Prize in Composition Band/Wind Ensemble Professional Division and the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. In 2018, Davern’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm was performed live on NBC by the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes for the 92nd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. He has also arranged for the Boston Brass, in collaboration with the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes. Shawn’s arrangements of Pure Imagination and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, set for trombone and piano, were written for and performed by Toby Oft, principal trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Davern’s works for trombone choir have been performed by the Boston University Trombone Choir, Eastman Trombone Choir, Columbus State University Trombone Choir and the Ithaca College Trombone Troupe. His works for trombone choir have also been performed at the Third Coast Trombone Retreat, Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the 26th Annual Fruhling Posaunen at Ithaca College. Davern’s jazz band pieces have been featured by the Boston University Big Band, the Royal College of Music Big Band, the JMU Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band and the twelve-time Essentially Ellington Finalist Foxborough Jazz Ensemble. His works for jazz band have been performed at the JMU George West Jazz Festival, the National Community Band Festival and the Jazz4Justice Festival in Washington, D.C. His revised Sonata for Trombone and Piano, entitled Nostalgia Bostonia, was premiered in May 2021 by Dr. Brittany Lasch and Thomas Weaver. Davern’s new wind band version of Make the Moment was premiered in February 2022 by the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of his father, Bill Davern, for whom the piece was composed.
Davern currently serves as a performing arts teacher at the Manlius Pebble Hill School, where he oversees the 3-12 concert band program and teaches additional courses in music theory, keyboard and general music. Davern served as the director of bands at Forest Park High School in the Prince William County Public School system from 2019 through 2022, where he oversaw the instruction of three concert bands, jazz band, percussion ensemble, AP music theory, and the Forest Park High School Marching Bruin Band. Davern is also the co-founder, leader and arranger of The Sages of Future Soul, a remote recording big band that performs contemporary jazz, funk and soul standards. Along with fellow co-founder, bassist and producer Joseph Nichols, The Sages of Future Soul recordings have featured saxophonist Alexa Tarantino and garnered praise from members of bands Moonchild, Hiatus Kaiyote as well as AllAboutJazz.com. The ensemble made their live debut in August 2022 at Clementine Cafe in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and are looking forward to featuring Dr. Chloe Swindler and Justin Kauflin in January 2023.
Works for Winds
- Shawn W. Davern, personal correspondence, April 2018 and June 2022
- Shawn W. Davern website