David Creighton, Cello

David Creighton, Cello

David Creighton 130x140Growing up in a musical family, it was a given that David would play something. His parents played 4-hands piano and his mother was the harpist for the Albany New York Symphony Orchestra. For David, it started in 4th grade when he came home with a sign-up sheet for an instrument. His mom said, “oh you’d like to play the cello, I’m sure.” He agreed without really knowing what a cello was! “It looked really big when they brought it out to me the next day,” he admits. Undeterred, David began playing and kept on playing. Private lessons began in 7th grade, with his mother as accompanist for recitals.

“I was lucky to be in a school district with a robust music program. Lots of kids took music very seriously so it was just a normal thing to do. A couple of classmates went on to Julliard and long careers with the Metropolitan Opera in New York.”

David played all through high school and as a senior was selected to play in the New York State All-State High School Orchestra. Along with playing in the pit for musical productions and in local community orchestras.

And then. Rock and Roll! In what might be the most inventive cello playing ever, David strapped a microphone on the cello fingerboard, held the cello in his lap and played it as a bass guitar for his high school production of “Guys and Dolls.” Yowza! Well, once you have the bass guitar bug, apparently you can’t be stopped. “I fell in love with rock and roll,” he admits. While at Harvard (majoring in Government) he played cello in the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, as well as an actual bass guitar and the cello in pit orchestras, including “West Side Story” with Leonard Bernstein, who was in residence at Harvard.

Then it was on to touring with various rock and roll and country western groups, as a bass guitarist. The cello stepped aside. Yes, he made albums that you might have heard of, but he’s keeping that a deep, dark secret. After a short career doing that, he became a luthier, making guitars. And then on to the environmental movement as a Board member of Green Peace, New England.

He made the westward trek to California for grad school and a Master in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. And then to Central America working for an international development group.

Finally, in the late 1980s, the cello reappeared in David’s life on his return to the Bay Area. He was playing around the area and heard of Prometheus by word of mouth. These days (after a career with the City of Fairfield as Financial Services Manager), David travels to Nagpur, India, for several months of the year, helping run a college training center for young Dalit activists (previously called “untouchables). “I miss playing in Prometheus while I’m gone, but it’s good to work in India as well.” We’ll be happy to welcome David back for as many concerts as he can!

~ Joyce Vollmer

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