David Schelat, Minister of Music
David Schelat is Minister of Music at First & Central Church in Wilmington, Delaware where he creates and presents Thursday Noontime Concerts and Festival Concerts, as well as conducts the Chancel Choir (the church's Sunday choir), Center City Chorale (a community choir of downtown workers), and Mastersingers of Wilmington (a concert choir of professional and amateur singers). Committed to new music, Mr. Schelat has led the church to commission music by Bruce Neswick, Gerald Near, and James Bassi and has conducted a number of Delaware premieres of recent compositions. In addition, he has explored a significant amount of secular and multi-cultural choral literature with the choral ensembles at First & Central.
In recent years, Mr. Schelat was chosen four times from international candidate pools to be a Conducting Fellow participating in the Dennis Keene Choral Festival, where he studied conducting with Dennis Keene (Voices of Ascension), John Alexander (Pacific Chorale), Peter Bagley (University of Connecticut), and Vance George (San Francisco Symphony Chorus). Previously, he studied conducting with Maurice Casey at Ohio State University and Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College.
He is a frequent recitalist in the mid-Atlantic region, has been heard on the nationally syndicated program on National Public Media, “Pipedreams,” and is a member of the Concert Organist Cooperative. He has planned and played numerous hymn festivals in the United States, Canada, and in Europe, including festivals for conferences of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the American Guild of Organists, and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
David Schelat teaches organ on the keyboard faculty of The Wilmington Music School/Delaware Music School. He is an active member of the American Guild of Organists, and is presently Sub-Dean of the Delaware Chapter, a District Convener in Region III, coordinator for the Vernon deTar Scholarship Competition, and has taught at numerous summer Pipe Organ Encounters for high school organists. He is also a member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He has served on the national board of directors of this organization and was Conference Director of PAM's 2000 Westminster Conference on Worship and Music. He served on the Delaware State Arts Council for six years, and in 2005, received a Wilmington Award for his longstanding arts leadership in the city of Wilmington.
David Schelat received his Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from The Ohio State University, his Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and has pursued additional post-graduate studies at Syracuse University. His major instrument was organ, which he has studied with Will O. Headlee, Wilbur Held, and David Craighead.
Mr. Schelat composes on commission. Some of his most recent commissions include Delaware Suite commissioned by the Delaware Chapter of the American Guild or Organists, Te Deum laudamus commissioned by the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew (Wilmington, Delaware), and Dreams of Love, commissioned by CoroAllegro (Wilmington, Delaware). His music appears in the catalogues of Oxford University Press, Augsburg-Fortress, and MorningStar Music.