Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Maine Pops’ New Director!
My name is David Watts, and I have been conducting since the age of 18 (unless you count that fact that I was conducting Beethoven’s nine symphonies in my living room at age 12). I’ve played the piano since age 5, clarinet (age 9), sax (age 12), euphonium (14), and pipe organ (17). I’ve also been singing since I was one day old (I’m told I wasn’t very good at that age)!
I was born in West Reading, PA on May 7th, 1961. I attended Wilson High School in West Lawn, PA, and continued my education at Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, West Chester (PA) University, Appraisal Institute (Chicago), St. Joseph’s University (ME), and Maine Educators Consortium/Endicott College. I earned bachelor’s degrees in Music Composition and Music Education, and completed master’s level studies in several subject areas: music theory, educational leadership, commercial real estate valuation and consulting, commercial real estate management and leasing, finance, and adult education. (I just keep taking more classes every year – I’ll stop when I die!)
I am currently employed as the RSU5 Director of Community Programs (Adult Ed, Community Ed, Recreation, Pre-K, Before/After Care, Teen Center), as well as the Facilities Rentals Manager for the Freeport Performing Arts Center (FPAC). I am also the organist/pianist at South Freeport Congregational Church. Previous music-related employment included: instrumental and general music teacher, Freeport High School; choral, instrumental, and general music teacher, Greely Middle School and North Yarmouth Memorial School; instrumental and classroom music teacher, Wilson School District, West Lawn, PA; hand-bell choir director, Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA; assistant band director, Cinnaminson High School, Cinnaminson, NJ; and partner/composer, Axis Audio, Inc., Philadelphia.
Other than music, I was also previously employed as: Commercial Operations Manager, Carlino Development Company, Wyomissing, PA; Asst Vice President, CoreStates Bank, Philadelphia; Asst Vice President, Meridian Bank, Reading, PA; Partner, Nordstrom Watts & Weinstein Appraisal Group, Reading, PA. I also served as Treasurer of the Maine Music Educators Association from 2008 to 2015.
As if that weren’t enough, I have toured as a singer/pianist, both as a soloist and with my own group, doing both covers and originals. I toured from 1985 – 1989, and regionally from 1990 – 2003. While full time, I performed generally 5 days per week, 48 weeks per year. After cutting back to part-time, I performed generally 40 times per year until I burned out in 2004. During and after college, I arranged music and wrote drill for several high school bands in New Jersey and central and eastern PA. About 6 or 7 years ago (I lose track when I’m having fun), I was invited to take over conducting Chandlers Military Band, and I absolutely love it.
My wife, Tracy, works for Maine Medical Center as a team lead developing the electronic records management for the operating room teams statewide. Until a couple years ago, she was an oncology nurse for over 25 years, ending as the clinical manager for the women’s cancer center in Scarborough. That’s a long time to be in oncology, so it was time for a change. Tracy and I have three 3 daughters: Bethany, Sarah, Olivia. Bethany lives and works locally, and is a Christian Ed teacher at South Freeport Congregational Church. Sarah is a sophomore at the Hartt School of Music. Olivia is a senior this year at Freeport High School (we live in Freeport). She has been accepted to five colleges, and we are currently “trying to figure ‘it’ out.” She will likely attend the Hartt School of Music, College of St. Rose, or the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University. We have no grandchildren (yet), but we do have 11 nieces and nephews, as well as 4 grandnieces and grandnephews. The picture to the left isn’t great, but it does include me and my daughters after our last night of performing together in the Freeport schools after 14 years (on April 11th). I have spent thousands and thousands of hours on stage there, and April 11th was the end.
I look forward to meeting you!