Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

David Dominique

Sallie Gertrude Smoot Associate Professor of Music, Music Theory & Composition; Glenn Faculty Fellow; Guggenheim Fellow 2022-2023

Office: Music Building, room 208
Phone: (757) 221- 1073
Email: [[dadominique]]


David Dominique (Ph.D. Music Composition and Theory) is a composer, performer and music theorist living in Richmond, VA by way of Los Angeles, Boston, and New York, though not necessarily in that order. His compositional output includes contemporary chamber music, jazz, electroacoustic music, installation, rock and theater.

Much of Professor Dominique’s recent music has been written for a jazz octet, including the albums Ritual (2013) and Mask (2018), collections of compositions for saxophones, flute, violin, viola, clarinet, bass clarinet, valve trombone/flugabone, electric guitar, electronics, bass and drums. Both albums were recorded in Los Angeles with some of that city’s most accomplished improvisers and contemporary performers. The music has been widely-reviewed and praised. On flugabone (a compressed valve trombone), Dominique has led many performances of works from the albums with multiple ensembles, with past and upcoming performances in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Charlottesville and Williamsburg, VA. His November 2018 release, Mask, was co-produced by Nolan Shaheed, former-Musical Director for Marvin Gaye and lead trumpet for Count Basie. Shaheed’s credits also include work with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, and Natalie Cole, among many others.

Prof. Dominique has also composed and conducted theater works, including a live score for LA production, Starcrosser’s Cut. The piece was a collaboration with playwright/director Joseph Tepperman, with whom Dominique worked previously in 2011 on “Tongues Bloody Tongues”, a critically-acclaimed experimental opera staged in Disney Hall’s REDCAT by Killsonic. The subsequent experimental theater work, a fictional, dreamlike reconstruction of the police interview after the arrest of infamous NASA astronaut, Lisa Nowak, received six performances from June 6-16, 2013 in Los Angeles. The piece was featured and praised in multiple mainstream publications including LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today and LA Stage Times.

In the field of contemporary classical music, Prof. Dominique has written pieces for soprano Tony Arnold, Talea Ensemble, ECCE, Ensemble L’Arsenale, the Genkin Philharmonic, the Lydian String Quartet, the Radnofsky Saxophone Quartet, the Formalist String Quartet, and Nimbus Ensemble. From 2007-2010, Prof. Dominique was also a member of Killsonic, a mobile band of horns, drums and accordions with whom he played trombone and contributed compositions while living in LA. His music for these diverse ensembles has been performed and presented in New York, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Buffalo, Berlin, and Auvillar, France, among others. As a trombonist he has performed at such festivals as Coachella, Bumbershoot, San Diego Street Scene, and San Francisco Outside Lands.

Prof. Dominique’s research interests include the music of Beat Furrer, about which he wrote the theory portion of his PhD dissertation, noise and chaos in popular genres, and the critical discourse surrounding Sly Stone and his album “There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” Prof. Dominique has presented papers on Furrer’s music at at the national meeting of The Society for Music Theory, The West Coast Conference of Music Theory, the South Central Society for Music Theory, and Music Theory Southeast, where he received the “Best Student Paper” Award in 2013.

He has been an invited speaker at Wellesley College, Virginia Tech, Westchester University, Harvard Summer Composition Institute and California State University, Northridge.

For his compositions and research he has received awards and fellowships from The Mellon Foundation, The American Music Center, The Max Kade Foundation, California State University, Brandeis University and the College of William and Mary. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Hambidge Center and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Arteles Creative Center, Fiskar’s Village AiR, and Willapa Bay AiR.

Professor Dominique holds an undergraduate degree from New York University, a Master of Music degree from California State University, Northridge, and an MFA and PhD from Brandeis University where he studied with David Rakowski and Eric Chasalow. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Music at the College of William and Mary.

Courses Taught

Composition I
Composition II
Composition III
Messy Music: Chaos and Genre
Noise, Voltage, Beauty, Sound
Introduction to Tonal Theory
Common Practice Tonal Theory I
Tonal Forms and Post-Tonal Techniques
Contemporary Theories