Shawn Davern

Shawn Davern is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in wind conducting at James Madison University, where he serves as the graduate assistant of the university’s concert and athletic band program under the direction of Dr. Stephen Bolstad. As graduate assistant, Davern’s responsibilities include assisting with the administration and instruction of the JMU Marching Royal Dukes, co-directing the JMU Pep Band, and working with all aspects of the Concert Band program.
Prior to his appointment at James Madison University, Shawn received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Boston University. During his time in Massachusetts, Shawn was the recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Music Educators Association Promising Young Music Educator Award. Davern served as the President, Vice President, and Treasurer of Boston University’s National Association for Music Education Collegiate Chapter. Davern is the Founder and former Music Director of Boston University’s Secondary Instrument Ensemble, a music group geared towards the teaching and mastering of secondary instruments to any Boston University student. He also served as Coordinator of Jazz Ensembles at Boston University and Manager of the Boston University Big Band. Shawn completed his student teaching in the Foxborough Public Schools under the direction of music education luminary Mr. Stephen C. Massey. Prior to student teaching in the Foxborough Public Schools, Davern provided private lessons to inner city students at Boston English High School through the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra’s Crescendo! Education and Community Engagement Program. He also provided free private lessons to inner city students of Jamaica Plain Manning Elementary School through Boston University’s Making Music program. As a trombonist, Davern has performed with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Big Band, Jazz Combos, and Trombone Choir. He has studied with Don Lucas, Jeffrey Gray and Harold Reynolds. He also attended the Royal College of Music in London, studying with Amos Miller and Richard Edwards, as well as performing with their Symphony Orchestra, Swing Band and Big Band. Shawn has also had the privilege of studying wind conducting with David J. Martins and Stephen C. Massey. Davern has appeared as a guest conductor with the Boston University Trombone Choir in concert. In February 2017, Shawn was personally invited and participated in the Art of Conducting Workshop, held at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas under the direction of Dr. Sarah McKoin. In addition to his work as an aspiring music educator and conductor, Davern is also an avid composer and arranger specializing in brass, jazz, and wind band music. He is passionate about adding new compositions and arrangements to the repertoire of contemporary classical and jazz idioms, having penned over 40 pieces. Davern’s compositions and arrangements have been performed in the United States and the United Kingdom. Davern’s arrangement of Pure Imagination, set for trombone and piano, was written for and performed by Toby Oft, principal trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other future engagements include arranging for the Boston Brass, in collaboration with James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes. Davern’s works for trombone choir have been performed by the Boston University Trombone Choir, the Eastman Trombone Choir, and the Ithaca College Trombone Troupe. His works for trombone choir have also been performed at the Third Coast Trombone Retreat and the 26th Annual Fruhling Posaunen at Ithaca College. Davern’s jazz band and jazz combo arrangements have been featured by the Boston University Big Band, Jazz Combos, the Royal College of Music Big Band and the twelve time Essentially Ellington Finalist Foxborough Jazz Ensemble. His big band chart, entitled A Thing Like That, is the official theme song of the Boston University Big Band and has been played at every performance since the piece’s conception in the fall of 2016. His composition And There Will Be A Story: A Sonata for Trombone and Piano was a featured selection in the final rounds of the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Entry Awards, commissioned and performed by trombonist and Bowling Green State University faculty member Brittany Lasch. Davern’s composition Make the Moment is published by Warwick Music.