Areas of Expertise
- Wind Conducting
- Jazz Improvisation
- MM, James Madison University
- BM, Boston University
- Study Abroad, Royal College of Music, London
Shawn William Davern is an American composer, arranger, conductor, trombonist and music educator. He currently serves as a first year graduate teaching associate pursuing a doctoral of musical arts degree in conducting at The Ohio State University School of Music, under the direction of Russel C. Mikkelson. He currently serves as the conductor of The OSU Professional School Orchestra and is the co-founder, leader, head writer and lead trombone of The Sages of Future Soul, a remote recording big band that performs contemporary jazz, funk and soul standards.
Prior to his appointment at Ohio State, Davern served as a performing arts teacher at the Manlius Pebble Hill School, where he oversaw the grade 3–12 concert band program and taught additional courses in music theory, keyboard and general music. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education at Boston University and also studied at the Royal College of Music in London. Davern was the recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Music Educators Association Promising Young Music Educator Award, and worked as the trombone workshop assistant at the 2019 Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He then received his master’s degree in wind conducting at James Madison University, where he served as the graduate assistant of the university’s band program. Davern made his international conducting debut at the 55th International Horn Symposium in Montreal on his own composition commissioned for and performed by the NUCORNO Jazz horn ensemble.
Davern’s compositions and arrangements have been performed in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and South Korea. He is the editor and transcriber of The Music Method, a new publication aimed to develop the artistry of the modern trombonist, authored by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal trombone, Toby Oft. Davern is also a member of the Millennium Composers Initiative. Davern’s composition entitled The Natural Lands: Suite for Tuba Euphonium Quartet was the recipient of the International Tuba Euphonium Associations 2019 R. Winston Morris Award for Excellence for Tuba Euphonium Composition. His composition for wind ensemble entitled An Elegant Sufficiency was named a finalist twice in the National Band Association William D. Revelli Composition Competition, and was performed at the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference by the Valley Wind Ensemble. The composition was also named a national finalist in the American Prize in Composition Band/Wind Ensemble Professional Division and the Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music. In 2018, Davern’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm was performed live on NBC by the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes for the 92nd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. He has also arranged for the Boston Brass, in collaboration with the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes. His Sonata for Trombone and Piano, entitled Nostalgia Bostonia will be featured via commercial release by Dr. Brittany Lasch and Thomas Weaver. Davern’s new wind band work entitled Dark Libations, commissioned by the Boston University School of Music, was premiered in May 2023 by the Boston University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Professor David Martins. Davern is published by Cherry Classics Music and Warwick Music.