David Allen Cosby is an educator and musician who passionately places teaching and performing American Music at the core of his professional and personal activities. David’s interest in the confluence of music and culture in America grew out of the stories his father would tell him about his teenage years as a young jazz enthusiast in the days of segregation.

David is the Director of Music at Holderness School, and a Doctorate student at Boston University. David has a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Guitar from Rutgers University, and a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology from the University of Virginia.

Being born into a society that was free from the restraints of legal segregation, David was fascinated by the struggles, indignities, and strength of character many of his musical heroes exhibited in the days of legalized racial segregation.

From the perspective of a young musician, David’s first significant music memories were the weekly jazz concerts he would attend with his father at the Left Bank Jazz Society in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. These events, coupled with going to concerts and lectures at the Smithsonian Institute in nearby Washington DC, allowed David to forge a deep love and appreciation of the history, culture, and legacy of African-American music. Another seminal event in David’s early music education was a Eubie Blake concert he attended as a child with his family. Reflecting on the experience later, David realized that the experience of seeing and hearing Eubie Blake opened his eyes to an entire period of music that he had not been aware of. David later realized that the experience of the Eubie Blake concert made him much more interested in exploring the roots and history of African American music.

David studied and graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Guitar from Rutgers University. At Rutgers, David was under the musical tutelage of Ted Dunbar, Kenny Barron, Larry Ridley, and Louis Porter. It was also while at Rutgers that David became fascinated with Jazz History and the study of music, society, culture, economics, and race. David not only studied jazz performance, but African American Literature as well, and completed independent scholarly research with noted jazz historian Louis Porter at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers’ Newark campus. It was there, at the Institute of Jazz Studies, that David’s love and passion for American Music and Culture were further fueled by interactions with important American Music researchers, such as Dan Morgenstern and Phil Schaap.

David’s passion for jazz, blues, and American music of all types led him to pursue a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology at the University of Virginia, where he was a student and protege of noted historian and jazz researcher Scott DeVeaux. While at UVA, David presented a paper on culturally informed musical aesthetics and jazz analysis at the National Meeting for the Society of American Music. David’s Master’s Thesis furthered his studies by examining modes of jazz analysis that were more in tune with and aligned with the sensibilities of African American Culture. In his thesis, David drew on the work of W.E.B. Dubois, Henry Louis Gates, Ingrid Monson, and Elizabeth Alexander.

In 2012, David took a position as Department Chair of Music at Besant Hill School, where he shares his deep appreciation and enthusiasm for music on a daily basis with his students.

On a daily basis, David continues to challenge, inspire, and mentor young music students at Besant Hill School, while at the same time pursuing his own professional interests in American Music and culture. David is also a Doctorate of Musical Arts student at Boston University.