Artistic Director & General Manager
David Morales founded Cantare Con Vivo in 1987. He is Conductor of the 100-voice Cantare Chorale and the 24-voice Chamber Ensemble, as well as the 125-voice Summer Adult Choir.
David is widely recognized for his outstanding choral ensembles. He has directed numerous performances featuring choirs of over 125 voices with full orchestra, as well as ensembles of select voices performing music in traditional, contemporary, and various ethnic styles. His choirs have been featured at both national and regional American Choral Directors Association conventions and on national television. He has led conferences and seminars across the nation in choral and church music and is widely recognized as an outstanding director who displays exceptional skill and insightful musical interpretation, challenging and inspiring singers, instrumentalists and conductors.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, David secured his first church music position at age 19, as well as founded his first community chorus, “Firebranders.” He earned his Master's Degree in Choral Music in 1973 at the University of Southern California, studying with the acclaimed director Dr. Charles C. Hirt, then moved to the Bay Area to establish the Oakland Youth Chorus. He later served as Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley and at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, establishing well-renowned, highly successful music programs at each. In 2003, he received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland. David retired in May 2014 after 25 years as Music Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Merritt College in Oakland.
Now beginning his 33rd season with Cantare and his 51st season as a professional conductor, David continues to delight audiences with performances of uncompromising quality and beauty. His mission is best captured in his own words:
"The miracle of self-discovery through the art of music-making is fundamental to our human evolution. Through choral singing we celebrate the synergetic genius harnessed from a multitude of composers and poets, simultaneously offering our deepest gratitude for their efforts. People should always be the central focus—it is immensely rewarding to unite singers and listeners through such a noble outpouring of genuine humility, conviction, compassion. Music conveys a message that goes well beyond spoken words, one which quickly puts us deeply in touch with who we are, what we believe, and what we feel. As human beings, we cannot be quite as eloquent without it."