David Chavannes is a Jamaican educator, performer and researcher.
As a teaching track faculty member, David is oriented toward the often-disproportionate pedagogical emphasis on technical skills to the exclusion of reasoning skills in applied arts fields like music performance and sound production. He guides students through the frustrating but ultimately transformative practice of thinking historically. He endeavors to design learning experiences grounded in empirical research into how humans learn, striving to cultivate learning spaces in which it is okay to make mistakes and disagree constructively. To deepen his pedagogy, he is investigating the relationship between US university teaching practices and the tenor of public discourse on and off-campus.
It can be easier to keep another’s company when your feelings and sensations, not just your ideas, are explicitly invited to the encounter. To foster such companionship, David’s research has sought to facilitate emotional, multisensory experiences rather than construct truths and persuade others to accept them. He is currently developing an open-access digital archive of oral histories. Tentatively titled _Jamaican LGBTQ Migration Stories_, the archive is a joint venture with Dr. David Aarons of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and inquires into the ways that LGBTQ Jamaicans have experienced emigration to the US.
He studied and performed Western classical music for over a decade as a pianist, singer, flautist, recorder player, choral conductor, and vocal coach. He composed theme and incidental music for the _Gender Jawn_ podcast and is proud to have composed and arranged music with Haitian singer-songwriter, Talie Cerin.
He holds a PhD in Africana Studies and Ethnomusicology from the University of Pennsylvania (2021), a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the University of Maryland at College Park (2016), and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Piano from the University of Kansas (2012).
- "Contending with Coloniality through Speculation, Storytelling, and Sound Performance" (2021)
- "S1 E1. David Chavannes, APC Graduate Artist in Residence." From _Gender Jawn_ podcast (2021)
- "la dame aux chapeaux" with Talie Cerin (2019)
- _elsewhere_ (2018)
- _a black pierrot_ (2016)
- PhD, Africana studies and ethnomusicology, University of Pennsylvania
- MM, Collaborative piano, University of Maryland
- MM, Choral conducting and piano performance, University of Kansas
Awards and Honors
Graduate Artist in Residence, Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2020-21
- Student Arts Innovation Grant, The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, University of Pennsylvania, 2020
- SAI 400: Archival History for Sound Artists
- SAI 400: Oral History for Sound Artists
- SAI 400: Listening to Colonialism
- THEA 256: Musicianship for Actors
- THEA 350: Collaborative Voice and Piano