Cranston resident Dr. David Neves served as the director of bands and supervisor for 29 years in the adjacent town of Scituate, where he also taught jazz ensemble, orchestra, chorus, general music and strings. As supervisor, he developed curricula and assessments that still serve as models throughout the region.
On Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:15 p.m. at Scituate High School, he will lead the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School’s Youth Symphonic Wind Ensemble, joining their counterparts in a “side by side” concert with the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble, an adult community band based in Providence and led by director and Scituate resident Dr. Robert Franzblau.
“I am so excited to be partnering with the R.I. Wind Ensemble and its excellent director to give our students an opportunity to partner with great adult musicians and live the fact that music making creates bonds among folks of all ages,” Neves said. “I have lots of great memories, and hope to see many of my former students – now adults – and their children attending this very special concert.”
Neves received his B.M. in music education from Berklee College of Music and his M.A.T. from Rhode Island College, with a concentration in saxophone performance. In 2006, he received his doctorate in educational leadership from Johnson & Wales University.
In 2017, he retired as director of fine and performing arts for the public school system in Needham, Massachusetts.
“As a child, I was encouraged by my parents to pick an instrument,” Neves said, “so at 8 years of age I chose the saxophone, and I’ve been playing it ever since.”
Neves has been a member of Rhode Island’s prestigious American Band for 25 years, in addition to having his own sax quartet and sitting in with many bands in the area. His part-time position as coordinator of music education at the University of Rhode Island keeps him hopping between the Kingston campus and the RIPO Music School in East Providence, where for the past 18 years he has conducted auditions for new students and rehearses two groups every week.
“At age 64, I’m living the perfect life,” he said.
He added: “Music is such a powerful tool. It instills congeniality. It is great exercise for the brain. Every part of the brain is used. It pains me when I see cuts in music education in the schools. Music education should be mandatory and more than an elective. We need more comprehensive programs.”
The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School’s Youth Wind Ensemble was founded in 2002 to give advanced woodwind, brass and percussion students from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut an opportunity to rehearse and perform high-quality wind ensemble repertoire, Neves said.
“We are always looking for students to share this challenging and rewarding musical experience,” Neves said. “Financial support is available.”
For more information, visit musicschool.riphil.org.
Students from Warwick participating in the Generations United concert are Ella McCarty, Nicholas Mulholland and Sofia Rosa. Cranston students Daniel Marella, Troy Santopadre, Adelina Steinmetz and Grace Petrarka will also participate.
In addition to individual performances by the two groups, the ensembles will combine to perform Henry Fillmore’s “The Klaxon” and “The Circus Bee,” Samuel Hazo’s “Arabesque” and Eric Whitacre’s “Sleep.” Neves and Franzblau will take to the podium to direct both the students and adults.
Tickets are available at the door the night of the concert. General admission is $12 adults, while tickets cost $7 for children, students and senior citizens. For more information, call 248-7038.