David Upham

David Upham

Associate Professor
Director of Orchestral Activities
Phone: (603) 862-2404
Office: Music, Paul Creative Arts Center, Durham, NH 03824

Dr. David Upham is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of New Hampshire, as well as the founding Music Director of the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestras. Locally, Dr. Upham serves as the Music Director of the Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to his arrival in New England, he was active in Seattle, Washington, as a conductor of professional, community, and student ensembles. He served as the Music Director of the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, taught at the Seattle Conservatory of Music, and worked with the Rainier Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Mahler Festival, and various professional ballet orchestras. In November 2009, he made his international debut at the French contemporary music festival, Aujourd’hui Musiques.

Dr. Upham’s work also focuses on orchestral music education at all levels, preparing students for careers as public-school orchestra directors and teaching graduate conducting. In 2013, he founded the UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra program, which provides local school children with opportunities to study and perform string instruments while also providing UNH music education students with practical teaching experience. Dr. Upham appears frequently as an educator and clinician at festivals across the country, including the Summer Youth Music School at UNH. His background as a music educator also includes a tenure with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and a successful ten-year career as a public school music educator.

Dr. Upham received a B.A. in music from Luther College, an M.M. in conducting from the University of Northern Colorado, and a D.M.A. in conducting from the University of Washington.

Courses Taught

  • MUED 745: Tech & Method String Instrmnts
  • MUED 745/845: Tech & Method String Instrmnts
  • MUSI 450: Symphony
  • MUSI 450/895: Symphony
  • MUSI 595: Spc Top Music Lit/String Rhrsl
  • MUSI 595/895: Spc Top/String Rehearsal
  • MUSI 779: Reading Writing Scores
  • MUSI 779/879: Reading Writing Scores
  • MUSI 781W: Analysis: Form and Structure
  • MUSI 831: Adv Instrumental Conducting
  • MUSI 991: Research Seminar


  • D.M.A., Conducting, University of Washington
  • M.M., Conducting, University of Northern Colorado
  • B.A., Music, Luther College

Research Interests

  • Conducting
  • Music Conducting
  • Music Education
  • Orchestra
  • Orchestral Music
  • String music education

Artistic Activities

  • UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra, April 2019 Concert (2019).

  • Adjudicator, Festivals of Music (Duxbury, MA) (2019).

  • UNH Symphony Orchestra, April 2019 Concert (2019).

  • Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor Assoc. Concert Festival (2019).

  • Massachusetts Northeast Region Junior District Honors Orchestra (2019).

  • UNH Symphony Orchestra, March 2019 performance (2019).

  • UNH Symphony Orchestra, December Concert (2018).

  • UNH Youth Symphony Orchestra Fall Concert (2018).

  • UNH Symphony Orchestra, performance at NHMEA October Musicfest (2018).

  • Great Bay Philharmonic Orchestra, inaugural performance (2018).