David Walters currently serves on the piano faculties of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Cadek Conservatory of Music, where he teaches classical and jazz piano.
A highly versatile performer, Mr. Walters is as well-known in the field of jazz as he is for his extensive work in classical music. He has performed at universities throughout the area, including UTC, Bryan College, Southern Adventist University, Lee University, Chattanooga State, Covenant College, The University of the South, and Jacksonville State University. His performance resume includes many chamber music concerts with both UTC and Cadek faculty members, solo piano recitals, local and regional appearances with his jazz trio (the David Walters Trio, which includes bass player, Gordy Nichol, and drummer, Jo Whitaker), and numerous appearances throughout the area as a solo jazz pianist. He has performed at many public and private events, including the United States Governors Conference and an event for former President Gerald Ford.
Included in the jazz trio's many performances are three appearances at Chattanooga's prestigious Riverbend Festival, for which the group received rave notices. The Riverbend performances also featured well-known Chattanooga vocalist, Richarde. Currently, in addition to concert appearances and playing at private functions, the trio performs regularly at various venues throughout the area, both as an instrumental act and also with veteran Chattanooga vocalist, Kathy Tugman.
Mr. Walters has appeared on five jazz CDs. He was acknowledged for his outstanding work on the popular Southside Jazz Junction Christmas CD. Preparations are currently under way for several more CDs, including one with the trio and Ms. Tugman.
Also a versatile teacher, Mr. Walters has been a member of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association since 1991 and has served as president of the Chattanooga Music Teachers Association. He has given educational presentations on jazz piano at several universities, and he has adjudicated at TMTA and CMTA Auditions, as well the Music Teachers National Association State Competition. Among the many awards earned by his students include first prize in the Oberlin (OH) Conservatory National Jazz Piano Competition for high school students.
Included in his other jazz teaching pursuits, Mr. Walters, along with UTC faculty members Paul Vogler and Clint Schmitt, founded and developed the highly acclaimed Bessie Bus mobile music educational program. The group collaborated with the Bessie Smith Hall and the Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department to provide a setting for children to learn about jazz, blues, and the fundamentals of music, and to actively participate in creating and performing music. The life and work of blues legend Bessie Smith were used as a focal point for the project, which lasted from 1996 to 1999. The program earned local, state, and national awards, including the prestigious Dorothy Mullen National Arts Award.
Mr. Walters received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Olga Conus, David Bar-Illan, and Richard Morris. Among his many performing awards, he was twice a national semi-finalist in the American Music Scholarship Association National Piano Competition, and he also won the Ohio Music Teachers Association State Piano Competition.