David Fuentes

David Fuentes

David Fuentes
(Theory and Composition), Music
(616) 526-6569
CF 241

Educational background

  • B.M., Music, Roosevelt University, 1981
  • M.M., Composition, University of Iowa, 1983
  • Ph.D., Music Composition and Theory, Brandeis University, 1988

David Fuentes is Professor of Composition and Theory at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he composes concert and liturgical music for chamber ensembles, solo instruments, orchestra and chorus. He also writes music for theater, film, television, dance, and integrative collaborations with visual artists, here and abroad.

Fuentes lectures on contemporary composers, film music, music and faith, and music vocation, and the place of music in human flourishing. His book, Figuring Out Melody, is a step-by-step manual for composition, valuable for novices and experts alike. He is currently working on Ears To Hear, a book which looks at ways in which people throughout human history have considered music spiritual and demonstrates how Christians might use these to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. As part of that project, he received a McGregor Foundation to work with a student researcher on a project titled, Exploring the Role of Music in Identity, Sports, and Faith Formation.

The recipient of numerous commissions, grants and prizes, Fuentes accolades include: League International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) Leo Snyder Prize in Composition; Wellesley Composers Conference, Fellowship Composer; Illinois Music Educators Association Prize in Composition; M. Gordan Fellowship; Irving Fine Fellowship; Remis Fellowship; Lilly Foundation for Vocation Research; Calvin Research Grant; Laureate of the Lincoln Academy; and Presser Scholar Award.

fomClick on the graphic to the right to find the online version of Figuring Out Melody, which presents a way of thinking about melodic figures and metric placement. It's helpful in inventing and working out your own musical ideas, as well as hearing and performing others with clarity and insight. The book has been in development for about 20 years, and deemed safe for human consumption by over 1200 students (who may remember either of its former titles: Sensible Counterpoint or Composition through Counterpoint). I hope that you enjoy it and find it useful in your own music making and hearing. Please feel free to contact me with comments and questions.