Daniel Cummings recently returned to New Mexico from Southern California where he was active as a conductor, composer, and pianist. He has conducted such luminaries as the world famous Boston Brass, international trumpet virtuoso Jens Lindemann, and legendary guitarist Angel Romero. Active in opera and musical theatre, Dr. Cummings has conducted performances of Gianni Schicchi, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Die Zauberflöte, Suor Angelica, L’elisir d’amore, and West Side Story. He has served on the faculties of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, where he taught Musical Theatre and Collaborative Vocal Piano, and UCLA Summer Music Academy, where he was Administrative Assistant and Chamber Music Coach.
As a pianist, Daniel is active in chamber music and performs frequently in instrumental and vocal recitals. In 2011, he collaborated with baritone Aram Barsamian in a unique song recital entitled “Laura: a story of unrequited love as told by Francesco Petrarc.” He has worked with Rakefet Hak, Betty Buckley, Len Cariou, Martin Katz, and Margo Garrett. He worked as conducting assistant to John Mauceri of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and served as rehearsal pianist for their production of Sunset Boulevard. Dr. Cummings has also worked as assistant music director for Musical Theatre Southwest of New Mexico, staff accompanist for the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and music director and arranger of the Carol Burnett Awards at UCLA.
As a composer, Daniel has written film scores, concerti for piano and clarinet, choral works, songs and song cycles, and over one hundred arrangements of hymns and folk songs for various ensembles and singers. His most recent commission is from Stage It Performing Arts Studio in Oakville, Ontario, for an original musical theatre piece for the senior music theatre performance class. He is a staff composer and arranger with Fall of Ai Productions in Los Angeles.
Daniel received his Doctor of Musical Arts from UCLA in Orchestral Conducting in June 2007. His other degrees are a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from UCLA and a Bachelor’s degree in Composition from UNM. He served as music director and conductor of the La Sierra University Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2011. While at La Sierra, Dr. Cummings also taught piano proficiency, orchestration, composition, and piano.
In addition to his work as pianist with the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus, Daniel teaches piano and composition at the New Mexico School of Music and is the Resident Music Director for Landmark Musical Productions.