David Story Biography
At 14, I began my piano studies, an enthusiastic, motivated, but somewhat unfocused teenager. Luckily, my determination at the piano overcame my inefficient practice habits.
Soon I was playing nights in jazz bands and country bands in Northern Ontario. Imagine loading gear into a van in the dead of winter in a frozen tan leisure suit. There had to be a better way.
Off to Boston at 17 to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. That went well; I left with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition, and enough skills to launch my career back home.
For the next 30 years, I worked the trenches as a pianist, bandleader, music copyist, arranger, music director and finally agent in the Toronto entertainment business. Along the way, I spent 25 years as a volunteer music director with the Canadian Youth Synthesizer Orchestra and later the Westdale Secondary School Senior Jazz band.
It was time for a mid-life second act career change: Classical piano teacher. Therefore, I pursued my ARCT in Piano Pedagogy. Bingo, four years and 5000 hours of practice later I graduated a local, provincial, and national scholarship winner. I have a new career.
Now I happily and enthusiastically teach piano, give workshops, adjudicate festivals and exams across Canada, Blog, and compose educational material for students.
For a full account of my background, please see my LinkedIn profile above or continue reading below.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding piano lessons soon.
1972 summer music camp in Kirkland Lake ON. Here as a youngster, I met my first mentor Harry Forbes, composer, guitarist and synthesist. Harry introduced me to the ARP 2600 synthesizer! Harry and I have been actively talking music and jamming together ever since.
1973 summer music camp in Collingwood ON directed by the popular Canadian Rock Band Lighthouse: Ten days of rock heaven. Here I met another future mentor Bill King, jazz pianist, Beaches Jazz Festival Music Director and CFRB personality who introduced me to rock piano styles.
1982 Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA Bachelor of Music, Jazz Composition and Arranging. My music teachers included Ray Santisi, Herb Pomeroy, Andy Jaffe, and Michael Gibbs.
1981-1984 Private Studies Boston and Hamilton in counterpoint and composition the late Dr. Hugo Norden, Professor Emeritus Boston Conservatory and Dr. Hugh Hartwell, The School of Art, Drama, and Music, McMaster University.
2002 Free Jazz studies with Victor Bateman in Toronto, which lead to performances with Glen Hall and redShift, a creative free jazz performing unit in Toronto, and other free jazz performances in Toronto with Jason Hammer, Michael Morse, Alan Molnar, Cheryl o, and many
2002-2007 Classical piano and music education studies with Leon Karan. Additional music education, theory and music history studies with Francine McIsaac and Dr. Janet Lopinski.
2007 ARCT Teachers, Royal Conservatory of Toronto. Recipient of the Adelmo Melecci Scholarship, the Gordan Hallett Scholarship from the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto and a Hamilton ORMTA Scholarship
2007 to 2011 Theory with Francine McIsaac
2009 to 2010 Piano teaching methodology with the late Donald Himes
2013 Classical Piano with Leon Karan and Jazz drumming with Paul DeLong
2014 Jazz drumming at the Jamie Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop at the University of Louisville Kentucky. Jazz drumming with Kevin Dempsey in Burlington Ontario.
2014 Coursera on line course: "Introduction to Music Production". I passed with distinction.
2015-2017 Jazz drumming at the Jamie Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop at the University of Louisville Kentucky.
2015-2017 Jazz drumming with Terry Clarke in Toronto Ontario. Terry Clarke was invested as a member of the Order of Canada. He has also been honoured as Drummer of the Year at the Canadian National Jazz Awards (2002, 2004-2008). I'm thrilled to be his keenest student.
2007 to present: Examiner Conservatory Canada
1982 to present: Piano Teacher, Toronto: My students range from young beginners to advanced university students and other piano teachers.
1998-2005 now retired: Part-time Entertainment Consultant, Elwood Saracuse Productions: I was responsible for account management and production of corporate shows in the Toronto area as a musician, producer, and agent. Our clients included Blue Chip Canadian and American firms. I had the opportunity to work with many household name entertainers from Canada and the USA.
1982-1988 Electronic Music Consultant: I worked with many school boards and religious organizations in the mid 1980’s implementing electronic keyboards and synthesizers into school music programs and worship services. This included classroom work, teacher training, and manual writing. School boards included Niagara, Hamilton, Halton, Peel, Durham, McMaster University Continuing Education Department, and the Salvation Army.
1983-1998 Piano Teacher, Long and McQuade, Burlington
1974-to present: Professional musician
Some Musical Highlights of my Journeyman music career:
Forming a jazz quartet and hiring legends: the late saxophonist D.T. Thompson, bassist Jack McFadden, and the late drummer Bill Graham. Deep swing, simple chords, the primacy of groove, and classic jazz repertoire.
Mediterràneo: my Latin jazz quartet with Louis Mario, Paco Luviano, Steve Lucas, Mark Sepic, Paul DeLong and many others.
Swing music with The Jazz Extension Swing Band: Myrna Van Weerdenburg on vocals, Michael Morse on bass, David Story on piano, Lenny Van Bruggen on drums and Nick Van Weerdenburg, the leader, on clarinet and sax.
Being a member of the Poetiks, Credo 5 and other new music groups consisting of improvising musicians and poets. We've performed in poetry and improvised music events in the GTA. I still occasionally participate in AIMT activities in Toronto.
Performing with Nelson Ned, a Brazilian crooner, at Canada's Wonderland in front of thousands of screaming women, and hilarious performances with The Platters.
Arranging some music for the opening Massey Hall concert of the Toronto Pops Orchestra.
Arranging some music for the orchestra during the Lech Walesa’s visit to Canada at Copps
Performing in a two-piano jazz quartet with the McMaster University Orchestra in performances of Bach’s Dm Keyboard Concerto.
Music copying for the CBC, NBC, Miss America Pageant, the Canadian Music Centre, and numerous Canadian and American composers of note.
Jazz Duo with New Yorker Richard Greenberg, at Cravings after-hours club, Perth, Western Australia
Jazz Duo with "Eddie B,” Tinkers Jazz Club, Boston. We were a comedic "salt and pepper act" (I was the salt) opening jazz act, six nights a week, 12 shows for Betty Carter, Chris Connor, Woody Shaw, Ester Philips and others. Accompanying the late Mr. Aso, Japanese tenor in Boston. This was my introduction to Opera.
Performances of my orchestral compositions including "Fantasia" with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra under the direction of Glenn Mallory and the Canadian Youth Synthesizer Orchestra. As Fats Waller shouted out during a particularly perfect musical moment, “Shoot me while I’m happy!”
“On the road” with the Canadian Youth Synthesizer Orchestra and the Westdale Senior
Jazz Band: NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Montreal, Quebec City, Chicago and more.
Hobbies: Synthesizers, playing the drums, a night at the ballet, cooking, and riding my bike.