The American tenor and music pedagogue, David Parks, studied Music education choral/voice at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, obtaining Bacheloe of Music degree in Education in 1977 (Vocal study with: Robert Simpson and Robert McIver; Opera study with: Robert McIver). He obtained his MAaster of Music degree in Voice performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1981 (Vocal study with: Leslie Guinn and Rosemary Russell; Opera study with: Ralph Herbert, Eva Likova, Gustav Meier, Gian Carlo Menotti, Katherine Hilgenberg, Richard Bergwin, Ian Strasfogel, and Johan von der Merwe). He otained his D. M. A. in Voice performance/Vocal pedagogy from the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1983 (Vocal study with: Jerold Siena; Opera study with: Jerold Siena and Larry Day). He continued his education: Vocal studies with: Carol Webber, Louise McCLelland, Richard Miller, Robert McIver; Musical Coaching with: Martin Katz, Robert McCoy, Norman Shetler, Douglas Fisher. He is Award winner, national semifinals at National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.
David Parks has sung all of the major oratorio roles in the USA, Eastern Europe, and numerous opera companies and orchestras, and at colleges and universities throughout the USA. He has appeared as a soloist with Bach Aria Group, Mid-America Productions (Carnegie Hall), Syracuse Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Louisville Bach Society, Spoleto USA. On the operatic stage he has sung roles with Syracuse Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Chautauqua Opera, Virginia Opera, Piedmont Opera, Arizona Opera, Ithaca Opera, Oswego Opera Theater, Opera Delaware, CAPAB Opera and PACOFS Opera (South Africa). Parks' appearances in more that 50 productions reflect a familiarity with a wide range of repertoire from Baroque opera to 20th-century literature. During summer festivals, he has been a guest artist at the Mauerbach Music Festival in Vienna, Austria, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Anchorage Music Festival (AK), Skaneateles Festival (NY), Ash Lawn Festival (VA), and Spoleto Festival in Italy.
In both 1990 and 1992 David Parks was awarded fellowships with the Bach Aria Group, and in 1989 made his Carnegie hall debut as tenor soloist in Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah. In 1995 he returned to Carnegie hall as tenor soloist in a program of Schubert and Mozart Masses. In early November 2001 he sang the tenor solos in the Mozart Requiem with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra in Bosnia-Herzegovina ((tribute concert for terrorism’s victims)), and in October 2001 he soloed with the Syracuse Symphony in Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
In the late spring and summer of 1991, David Parks made his performing debut in South Africa. During the three-month residency in South Africa, he performed leading tenor roles in Puccini's La Bohéme and Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte. In addition to fifteen operatic performances in Cape Town and Bloemfontein, Parks was heard at the South African National Arts Festival in both opera and oratorio, appearing as the tenor soloist in Mozart's Requiem Mass, the first American tenor to do so in several years.
David Parks began full-time studio teaching in 1983 after completion of his doctorate. His first teaching position was at the College of William and Mary. He remained in this position four years before accepting a tenure-eligible position at the Ithaca College School of Music in 1987. Parks was tenured at Ithaca College in 1993 and promoted to full professor in 1999. While a professor at Ithaca College, Parks has been a guest performer and voice teacher at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival (AK) for seven consecutive summers.
David Parks has for over 30 years dedicated his life to helping his students to become the best musicians that they can. Lessons are focused on technique, style, language, and creating a positive interpretive atmosphere while performing. Continually honing his teaching skills by attending-master classes and studying with renown voice teachers and coaches. While a Professor of Voice, Parks remains an active performer in opera, oratorio, recital, and chamber music singing over 70 opera roles. At the beginning of each academic year, Ithaca College celebrates Freshman Convocation. In August 2013 it was held for the first time in the new Athletics and Events Center. Parks was the featured faculty soloist for the Star Spangled Banner.
David Parks’ students have been successful in many areas of the music industry. His former students are professional singers in opera and on Broadway, music educators on the college and public school levels, arts administrators, entertainers, and conductors in both the United States and Europe.
David Parks has continued to be involved in professional activities while teaching at Ithaca College. He has been the New York State Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), chairperson for the NATS Artist Award Competition for three years, and chairperson for the New York State Council for the Arts Decentralization Panel for Tompkins County. As an adjudicator Parks has judged many NATS competitions on the district and regional level and for four years was a judge for the Rochester Philharmonic Young Artists Competition.