David Labman lives in the Rochester, NY area. He teaches chorus and general music at the Victor Central Schools (since 2000), he is the director of music at the First Baptist Church of Rochester (since 2002), and he frequently performs both classical and jazz piano locally. He is currently performing and recording with Grammy-nominated jazz artist, Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. Labman also works in area theaters as musical director, pianist, conductor, and orchestrator (his orchestrations for the musical Five Course Love were performed first at GEVA Theatre, and then published and performed in an off-Broadway production in 2006).
Labman earned a Master of Music degree in music education (cum laude) at Ithaca College in 2000 and a Bachelor of Music degree in music education at Nazareth College of Rochester (magna cum laude) in 1997. His primary instrumental training is in classical piano from grade school through college. Additionally, Labman studied jazz piano while playing professionally in Philadelphia and New York.
Prior to his college education, David Labman worked professionally in the Philadelphia area (1975—1990) as a pianist, keyboardist, vocalist and musical director, spanning multiple styles of music including, rock, R&B, jazz, and classical. During this time, he also recorded his first compositions. He continued his work as a composer during his undergraduate degree at Nazareth where he studied composition with Tim Sullivan and wrote his Expressions for the Pianoforte. Labman also studied composition with Gregory Woodward at Ithaca College.
In recent years, Labman has returned his attention towards composing. Piano Concerto No. 1 in D major is his first major orchestral work. It was started in 2006 and completed in 2010. February 12, 2011 was the premiere of the concerto in its entirety (three movements), performed by the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra—Diego Garcia, conductor—along with the Hochstein Percussion Ensemble—Jim Tiller, director—and Labman on piano. New orchestral works are in progress as well as pieces for solo piano and jazz fusion ensemble.
Labman has been teaching piano privately throughout his career. His students have varied interests. They generally begin with a traditional classical approach and as they grow in age and skill, they have the option to branch out in various areas. Most continue in classical and add other styles to their lessons. Labman is excited to begin teaching at the Kanack School and will offer private lessons in classical piano and jazz piano.