Thank you for visiting the online homepage of David Shaffer Music. From this page, you will be able to explore information on clinics, commission work, a list of arrangements, and purchase information.

My Favorites

I am asked frequently about which of my compositions are personal favorites.  Every few months on this link, I will list a few pieces and my thoughts about these pieces supplying links to publisher webs sites to peruse scores and listen to recordings. 


Flutopia  (FJH 2008)

Flutopia is a fantasia for flutes and was written as a birthday present to my friend, the Rev. Deborah L. Venezia on the celebration of her “big” birthday.  The whimsical opening melody combined with the light swing of the middle section gives the flutes the opportunity to “have some fun” while everyone will be tapping their toe throughout this piece. Great section feature piece.

Rhythm X (2007)

Super simple and super fun! As the title suggest, Rhythm X is a percussive infused composition featuring a “duet” between the winds and the percussion section.   This highly energized composition offers energetic rhythms and flowing musical lines.


Kaleidoscope (2008)

The dictionary defines a Kaleidoscope as an ever-changing patter of shapes and colors. Kaleidoscope was written to create ever-changing patterns of rhythmic shapes and instrumental colors. After an introduction that builds on a lyrical melody, the ensuing faster section is defined with changing instrumental colors and a powerful conclusion.  This is a great piece to teach about instrumental timbres and colors.


Middle School:

Fire Dance (2001)

Fire Dance is my all-time best selling middle school level composition.   It is an exciting mix of driving  melodic and rhythmic intensity.  I know you will enjoy performing this composition



Bugs (2006)

Bugs was commissioned by and dedicated to the Emerson J. Dillon Middle School 6th,7th and 8th grade select band, Phoenix, N.Y  and funded through a grant by the New York Dept. of Education. The composition is a programmatic work written in short movements depicting 4 delightful insects, The Firefly, Daddy Long Legs, Butterflies, and the March of the Ants.  The corresponding poetry by Ralph Venezia, adds a whimsical depiction of each of these creatures. 


Dances Fantistique (2008)

This exciting work for concert band is a set of three delightful dances.  Opening with  a bold fanfare statement, the first dance reveals the melodic material that is the basis for all three movements.  The title of this movement, Double Dance, is derived from the second statement of the melody, appearing in doubled rhythmic values.  The second movement, Round Dance, the melody is written as a three part round.  You could not have a Round Dance without a Square Dance, which is the title of final movement. Lots of fun percussion instruments add interesting timbres throughout.  It has received student raves with every performance.


Advanced Band:

Cantus Jubliante  (2006)

Written as the dedication for the new Ross High School, Ross, Ohio, Cantus Jubiliante is a majestic festival composition capturing the enthusiastic spirit of this hard-working Southern Ohio Community. From the opening statement, a bold fanfare in the brass with contrasting woodwind flourishes, the unique textures and musical contrasts bring this exciting composition alive with musical energy.


Purple Heart (2007)

I have been blessed to work with several thousand students over my 34-years as a music educator and composer. The thrill of teaching, mentoring and instilling a love of music in these young men and women has given me a lifetime of cherished memories. Over these years, there has been the heartbreak of loosing former students. On August 3, 2005, Lance Corporal Michael Cifuentes was killed serving in Iraq with other members of the Lima Company of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines.  Michael graduated from Miami University (Ohio)  in 2002 with a Bachelors degree in psychology and returned to Miami after enlisting in the Marine reserves to pursue his Masters in Math Education.  He was a  5-year member of the Miami University Marching Band, Tau Beta Sigma honorary music organization, and a resident advisor to the Miami chapter of Acacia fraternity.  We will all remember his warm smile, glowing personality, and immense loyalty to his friends and family.  Michael was our friend, our brother and our defender.  The Miami University community was saddened by the loss of this heroic young man and will never forget the sacrifice he made for our nation. Michael devoted his life to serving this nation with pride and purpose.  I will always remember and miss my friend and student Michael  Cifuentes.

Celestial Legend (2004 FJH)

Celestial Legend represents the prominence of Green County, Ohio in the Underground Railroad Movement and the fact that escaping slaves were taught to follow the North Star, which is a part of Ursa Minor and includes the Little Dipper.  Following the North Star, which is at the tip of the handle of that constellation, enabled them to constantly keep their direction as they traveled northward.  Thematic material for the composition includes “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and “The Church’s One Foundation”. "Follow the Drinking Gourd,” is the legend of the old man, "Pegleg Joe", an itinerant carpenter who traveled around the south during the late 1800's teaching slaves, through his song, the way to freedom.  The hymn "The Church's One Foundation" reflects the large number of churches that exist in Greene County and the unity that their faith provides. 


"Music is the poetry of the air."