Testimonials

David has many strengths as a musical director but the one that really stood out to me in our production of Spring Awakening was his attention to detail as a vocal director and bandleader.  Whether it was clarity or dynamics he was looking for, getting just the right tempo, rocking out or dropping back, David was calmly unrelenting in his pursuit of getting it all just right.

— Michael Butler, Artistic Director, Center REPertory Company, Walnut Creek, CA

“A stellar musician with impeccable artistic sensibilities.”

I hired Dave as our music director in the summer of 2010 to work with me on a risky show that was enormous and filled with difficulties. I had been searching for a long time before that for a partner in the work I do at YMTC, which produces professional musical theater while training the young people who are on stage.

I wanted a stellar musician with impeccable artistic sensibilities. Someone passionate and knowledgable about musical theater, both well-trained and experienced in the professional world of theater; someone who could be a true leader of an orchestra and a cast, both artistically and personally. But I also wanted a teacher. I wanted someone who would love young people, who would have the heart and the patience to work with young artists, meet them where they were at whatever level, and push them towards excellence.

I found all this in Dave. Since that summer, I have worked with him on nine consecutive main-stage productions and several workshops as well. In the fall of 2011, we hired brought him on as our first Resident Musical Director. I count myself among the lucky directors to work with him.

— Jennifer Boesing, Artistic Director, YMTC Berkeley

“A superb conductor.”

David Möschler is a superb conductor. We worked together on the music I wrote for the silent film Ramona, by D.W. Griffiths. The piece was not easy, requiring a lot of old school conducting-while-looking-at-the-screen skills (without a click track), in the spirit of Carl Stallings cartoon soundtracks. He did a wonderful job, the synchronization was always perfect and the concert was a great success.

— Pablo Ortiz, composer and Professor of Music, University of California at Davis

“His conducting is precise, disciplined, and intelligently crafted.”

David Möschler has a passion for musical theater and orchestral conducting that is contagious to the musicians in his ensembles. I’ve enjoyed playing in several professional pit orchestras conducted by David. His conducting is precise, disciplined, and intelligently crafted. Rehearsals with David are efficient, well paced, respectful, and collaborative. I have the deepest respect for David’s musical direction which appears to be simultaneously intuitive and well researched. I recommended David to take over a youth orchestra conducting position I was vacating and David did a remarkable job – both the parents and students responded well to David’s musical gifts and warm teaching style. I embrace every opportunity I can to play in David’s ensembles. It is rare to find an individual who is musically gifted, organized, responsible, and holds himself to very high professional standards.

— David Campbell, music educator, conductor and trumpeter

“One of the Bay Area’s brightest stars in musical direction.”

From the get-go, Dave has been one of the Bay Area’s brightest stars in musical direction. I’ve seen him coach people with no discernible stage or musical training and get them to perform complex vocal harmonies and present the drama within the play. His piano playing is consistent and excellent, even while directing stage and orchestra, no small feat. And he is one of the few directors who know how to conduct both instrumental and vocal ensembles equally well.

His knowledge of musical theatre history is vast, and beyond that of authorities twice his age. And he knows what is important in theatre, keeping track of everything from stage direction to sound engineer to lighting to costumer. All the attention to detail has made him desirable for musical direction, and he has made it a point to work with stage directors with unique and challenging points of view. Naturally, all of us welcome the chance to work with him on future projects.

— Wes Asakawa, professional woodwind doubler, San Francisco, CA

“Inspires you… to go above and beyond what you previously thought possible.”

I consider myself fortunate to have worked under Dave Moschler’s musical direction. He is  endearingly passionate about the music that he directs, and he is able to instill this passion into his cast. His love of music, coupled with his outstanding musical knowledge, inspires you as a singer to go above and beyond what you previously thought possible. Dave also has a solid understanding of the singing voice, and encourages the use of  healthy vocal technique in his musical productions. He is definitely a perfectionist, and balances this tendency with a sense of humor and a feeling of respect and good will towards all involved in the production. I would work with him again in a heartbeat!

Rebecca Castelli, professional actor and voice teacher

“One of the best musical directors I have ever worked with.”

Recently, I played violin for the band in the musical Spring Awakening under the musical direction of David Möschler. I find him to be one of the best musical directors I have ever worked with. He is committed to making each musical the absolute best it can be. He will do whatever it takes to bring the musicians and the singers to their highest level of performance.

Dave goes above and beyond the basic duties of a musical director. During Spring Awakening he was so dedicated to having an authentic sound that he purchased a 1930s era harmonium with his own money. He directed the band, and the singers while playing piano, harmonium and guitar. He did so flawlessly and had the entire musical memorized!

Dave is also an extremely organized individual. He secured the band months before the run of the show, got the music to us well in advance and was always available for questions and/or concerns in an extremely timely manner.

Not only is Dave a wonderful musician and director but an outstanding human being. He treats his musicians and cast with the utmost respect. He has the ability to demand the best with diplomacy. If you are looking for an outstanding musician and musical director, you cannot go wrong with Dave.

— Kerry Borgen, professional violinist and member of Heart Strings duo

“It’s great to work with him and great to watch him work.”

Dave Möschler’s enthusiasm for what he does is contagious. His passion, knowledge, attention to detail and, in particular, his patience, inspire everyone to raise the bar. Also, he knows a ton of jokes, and two tons of Sondheim anecdotes! I’ve worked with him on two different productions of Assassins; his quips and stories are actually fantastic tools for getting the most out of people. It’s great to work with him and great to watch him work.

– Steven Hess, professional actor and Director of Youth Programs at 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, CA

“I am fan of Dave Möschler’s.”

I am fan of Dave Möschler’s. I had the wonderful opportunity to watch Dave rehearse with a group of high school student actors and musicians for a production of Into the Woods at JCHS in November 2012.  He was demanding and serious, good-humored and funny, impeccably organized, upbeat, and motivating.  He conveyed the highest expectations of professionalism to the group of young people, whose experience level ranged from newcomers to performance veterans.  And the students rose to the challenge!  Both the singer-actors and the musicians improved with every repetition.  The sound, the clarity and precision of instruments and voices, the meaning of the songs and the emotions expressed, the characters created in Sondheim’s incredible music were, to a person, fantastic.  And, at every minute, I could see that the students were having a great time as they worked with the focus and dedication that Dave inspired in them.  As I observed rehearsals, I wished I could go back to being a 16-year-old musical theatre performer, but this time under Dave’s brilliant tutelage.

In addition to this, his M.A. thesis from UC-Davis is a superb analysis of the score of Carousel, chock full of extraordinarily perceptive insights and some fantastic personal interviews.  A terrific resource!

— Stacey Wolf, Director, Princeton Atelier & Professor, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University

Author of Changed for Good:  A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical

“Dave is fabulous to work with.”

Dave is fabulous to work with, so collegial, so knowledgeable, so completely prepared, both with the score and with the history and authorial intentions of the writers. I’ve worked with him on a good half-dozen musicals at the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, MA, and a number more when he was an associate conductor.

One of them, Carousel, we had several conferences before we even arrived in Falmouth, talking about the way the text and the score weave together, the way the show is looking for reality in a kind of mythic world. We knew ahead of time that “Soliloquy” was going to be a killer. When we began rehearsals, Dave wanted to be present for that number from the git-go. We talked with the actor, John Grieco, so we could all get on the same page. Knowing we wanted this to be a hugely physical number, no parking and barking, I gave him freedom to roam on the stage, with only a few blocking limitations.

Then we began work, the three of us finding where the emotions escalate, where a new set of emotions catch fire, all the time blending motion and music, with Dave adjusting tempos and volume, finding the moments when John needed to breathe, me adjusting his movements and his acting choices to suit those moments.

Tony Howarth, director and playwright