Monday, September 7, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dear Friend

David R. Davidson

Saturday, a giant in the Dallas musical world and a dear friend, died. David R. Davidson fought valiantly for over two years against cancer. Valiantly. Just a week ago today, he went to work at Highland Park United Methodist Church, where he was music director, and he directed the rehearsal of the DS Chorus. And now we will collectively lay him to rest on Thursday. There will be many eloquent things said about him, and my thoughts will be the least of these, but I have to share a little bit with you about this man I knew and appreciated so much.

David and me after the last Christmas concert in 2008.

I only really got to know David over the past five years. We worked together at my job, mostly on the annual series of Christmas concerts. We had occasion to work on other things too, but this was why I saw and spoke with, met with and emailed David regularly all year long. We have a wonderful group of professionals who work on this production each year. But David was the musical director of the production and very much the central force that helped make it what it was each year. I am so glad we have his thoughts on a complete program for this coming December. It will be an honor to carry them through to a completed series as he envisioned it.

If you didn't know he had cancer, you might not have ever known he was sick. He kept one of the busiest schedules of anyone I know. He was, as mentioned, music director at Highland Park UMC as well as the conductor of the DS Chorus. That alone would keep the average person more than busy. David, on top of that, was a choral and handbell clinician all over the world. If you read his obituary, you'll see all the myriad of programs, artists, concerts and events he was involved with. Not to mention, he underwent all sorts of treatments in town and away from Dallas to try to win the war against his disease all the while keeping up with it everything - never slowing down - even when I know he had to be feeling less than perfect. And, he was the grandfather to two sweet little boys that were the light of his life, as well as a father to Jena and Chris, husband to Judy, brother and friend.

Before one concert last year, he realized he showed up at the hall wearing two different shoes.
He laughed and laughed about that.

He was a tall distinguished looking man with a larger than life persona. He held to the highest of musical standards and expected those around him to do the same. We learned from him, for certain. He also had a huge laugh and a great sense of humor. I loved it when we could make him laugh. What a bright smile and happy face would come upon him - and that laugh - what a wonderful laugh! He was thoughtful and careful with people and situations. And man, could he pick out a good red wine!

Backstage with the "Dickens" folks, Christmas 2007.

It is a comfort to know David is no longer suffering here on earth. But, it is also so hard to believe he is gone. I mean, I worked on just one of his projects and knew him only a few years of his way too short life, and have lots of things I'd still like to discuss with him. There are thoughts that come up about this or that which I would normally refer to him. New items are bound to come around and he will no longer be the person with whom we can counsel. This is the way it is when someone dies, I know. But for some reason this fact is hitting me square in the face with David's death more than most. In fact, I would say I have been in a general malaise over his condition. It's been hard to concentrate on other matters. We will find a way to move on, of course, but David will be so very missed by so many. Not to mention his family and closest friend with whom he shared so much time and memories.

And the secret to "moving on" for me will be to remember him in significant ways - remember all the truly beautiful, moving, sacred musical moments he provided us; the things I learned from him; and all the ways in which we shared this earthly place. In that way, he will live on. And because of this, David will live on for a good long time in all the lives he touched. In this way, he is alive and well here on earth. And this will honor him and comfort us. And that is a good thing.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Now he can rest. And I wish him a peaceful rest. And I wish peace and remembrance for his family and friends who are missing his presence here on earth.

Rest in peace, dear friend. Rest in peace.


  1. How fortunate for you to have worked with and known such a wonderful person. My sympathies to you, too.

  2. Amy, thank you for putting that together and posting. I wish I'd gotten to spend more time with him.

  3. Wow.  What a touching tribute...God be with his friends and family.  And that's the joy of music - immortality.

  4. This was beautiful Amy.
    Bye David and God be with you till we meet again!


  5. Thank you for writing that, Amy, and for posting those pictures. Especially the one with the shoes! They are the perfect photos to remember David by.

  6. Thank you for writing this.


  7. Amy, you summed up a lot of our need to write our feelings about David.


  8. So beautifully said, Amy...


  9. Oh, Amy. Thank you for your words. He was an amazing gift to us all.


  10. Amy, this is beautiful. I am praying for his family and friends.


  11. Thank you Amy. A wonderful tribute.

  12. Beautifully said. David was such an inspiration to us all! He will be missed by many.


  13. Thank you for this lovely tribute.


  14. beautiful and very moving.  he will be missed by so many.  God is welcoming him as a faithful servant and perhaps having him lead some choirs in heaven.


  15. truly beautiful. thank you.

  16. He left behind some powerful music that will carry his legacy forward. The city of Dallas lost a world class musician and I'm sorry for the loss of a friend to you, Amy.


  17. Your note about David is beautiful. It's truly amazing how many lives he did touch. Thank you taking the time to write this and for the pictures.


  18. Amy, what a beautiful tribute. You say in words and pictures what so many of us feel. Thank you!


  19. Dear Amy,
    Thank you so much for putting it so well, and so personally. I know he loved you too, and respected you immensely.
    Bless you!

  20. You never cease to amaze me Amy and make me proud of you once again with you tribute to this great man.

  21. You never cease to amaze me. What a wonderful tribute to such a great friend and man. You make me proud being such a caring person.



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