Meet the Provost's Team

David Commanday

David Commanday

Lecturer - Music/Director of Instrumental Music

Contact Details


Staatsdiplom, Orchestral Conducting, University of Vienna, 1980
A.B., Psychology, Harvard College, 1976

Contact Me For…

  • Strings or conducting instruction
  • Band

Research Interests

I am engaged with orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance as conductor and cellist. My career informs and stimulates my ongoing inquiry into the psychology of Music and all the Arts, and the nature and ethics of effective teaching and leadership. I am fluent in German and French, and proficient in Italian, and enjoy studying the literature of these great cultures.

Teaching Interests

I teach all string instruments—violin, viola, cello, bass, and guitar—as well as instrumental conducting. I direct the Eureka College Band and String Ensemble, as well as the Eureka College Summer Arts Festival. At Eureka I have taught First Year Seminar and Western Civilization I, and have taught many classes and symposia on conducting and leadership, for both corporate clients and for continuing learning programs. Teaching good writing and effective use of language is an enthusiastic favorite of mine.

Professional Activity

Artistic Director and Conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Music Director, Central Illinois Youth Symphony and Conductor of the Young People’s Symphonic Orchestra of the Community Music School of Webster University. Guest Conductor, Kansas City Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, North Carolina Philharmonic, Flagstaff Symphony, Belgium Radio Orchestra, among others. Conductor, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Montreal, and Vermont All-State Orchestras, and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. Cellist, in performance with guest artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Matt Haimovitz, Adam Neiman, Stefan Milenkovich, Elena Urioste, and Nick Cannelakis.

Community Engagement

I am a volunteer for multiple arts organizations in our area, and a regular speaker on the arts and community to service clubs in the area. The Heartland Festival Orchestra has a program called Community Partnerships, in which the HFO contributes to and publicizes the cause and activities of a local charitable institution at each concert.

Uniquely Eureka Experience

From the first visit, Eureka reminded me of a small New England college, with historic buildings, beautiful trees, and a great atmosphere of calm. Then the Chapel, an absolutely perfect space for music, captured me.


California-born and New England and Vienna-educated, I have been a resident and very much at home in Central Illinois for over 15 years. My family and I enjoy Scottish Terriers, cooking, all kinds of house projects, travel, and all of the Arts.