David Blake grew up in Oak Ridge Tennessee and attended Oak Ridge High School where his teachers were Tom Wade, Ted Reeves and Dale Pendley. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Tennessee Tech University after studying trombone with Larry Hoepfinger, music education with Dr. Wayne Pegram, Theory with Robert Jager and conducting with Joseph W. Hermann. Upon graduating in 1990, Mr. Blake was appointed Bass Trombonist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. A position he held until he moved to California in 1997. At the same time he was hired as the Director of Bands at Norwood Middle School in Oliver Springs, Tennessee. After leaving that position in 1994, Mr. Blake was awarded a graduate assistantship in trombone at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and studied trombone with 2009 ITA Humfeld Award winner Don Hough.
After completing his Master’s Degree at the University of Tennessee, Mr. Blake moved to California with his wife Liz, a California native who is now the Director of Orchestras at Los Cerritos Middle School and Westlake High School. Mr. Blake taught at Jordan Middle School in Burbank from 1997-1999 and has been at Los Cerritos Middle School from 1999 until now.
During his time at Los Cerritos the band program has developed into 7 performing groups including Beginning Band, Intermediate Band, Advanced Band, Jazz Band 2, Jazz Combo, Jazz Band 1 and Percussion Ensemble. Both Jazz Band 1 and the Advanced Band have been awarded consistent Superior ratings at festivals and competitions over the past several years. Individual musicians, Percussion Ensemble and chamber ensembles have been awarded consistent Superior ratings at Solo and Ensemble Festival as well. Students in the Los Cerritos program have consistently been accepted into the Ventura County Honor Band and the California All State Honor Band. The Advanced band gave the world premier of “A Day in the Life”, a work commissioned from composer Scott Director in June, 2009.
In addition to his duties at Los Cerritos Middle School, Mr. Blake is active in organizing the Ventura County Honor Band and serves as Exhibit Host on the California Band Director’s Association Board of Directors. As a trombonist in California Mr. Blake is a regular member of the Boyd Cannon Big Band based in Thousand Oaks and also performs on a regular basis with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. Artists who Mr. Blake appeared with as a member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in Tennessee include Luciano Pavarotti, Henri Mancini, Ray Charles, Carol Channing, Toni Tennile, The Moody Blues, Bobby McFerrin, Joshua Bell and Hillary Hahn.
Throughout his career, Mr. Blake has been, or is a current member of the East Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Director’s Association, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Director’s Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Band Director’s Association as Exhibit Host and is a founding member of the California Alliance for Jazz