David F. Oliver, D.M.A.


In 1995, David F. Oliver was appointed Organist/Artist in Residence at Morehouse College in Atlanta.  Recently named as one of Colleges' “Institutions,” David is now Director of Music Ministries at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and Organist at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.  The Chapel seats 2, 501 persons and houses a large Wicks pipe organ that includes more than 6,000 speaking pipes, 4 manuals, and 92 ranks.  The largest pipe is 32 feet in height and weighs 350 pounds.


A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, David is a member of the Warren Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  His first organ teacher was Dr. J. James Greasby.  Having completed his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, Illinois, he received a master of music degree in organ performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.  He also has done further organ study at Westminster Choir College, and the University of Kansas, in Lawrence.  From 1984-1986 and 1989-1990, he was a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of the late renowned teacher Russell Saunders.  David received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance from the University of South Carolina School of Music in 1999 where he was a student of Dr. William H. Bates. In 2000, Dr. Oliver was awarded a fellowship to study in the Master of Sacred Music program at Emory University with Dr. Timothy Albrecht.


Dr. Oliver has performed in the Lincoln and Kennedy Centers for the Performing Arts. His European performances have included Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Grossmünster in Zurich, the Maurice Ravel Auditorium in Lyons, France; and the Temple Church in London. His concert schedule in the United States has included recitals at historic St. Thomas Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, Trinity Church (Copley Square) in Boston, the Washington National Cathedral, and the University of the South.  He has played concerts in the Cathedral of St. Philip, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Morehouse College, Emory University, and the historic Ebenezer Baptist and First Congregational Churches, all of which are in Atlanta.  Other concerts have been at the College Church in Wheaton, Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and several chapters of the American Guild of Organists. 


Dr. Oliver played five concerts during the Centennial Olympic Games 1996, in Atlanta.  David played the Poulenc Organ Concerto with the University of South Carolina Chamber Orchestra in 1997.  He is the first African-American organist invited to play on the Organ Concert Series at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.  He has also performed at several national conventions of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and performed at the Fraternity’s Centennial Convention in 2006.  During the spring of 1998, Dr. Oliver played in several European cities including Leipzig, Germany where he performed at St. Thomaskirche-the church where Johann Sebastian Bach composed many of his sacred organ and choral works. In June 2003, he played an organ concert in the internationally known Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California and also in several cities throughout England.


As Director of Music and Associate Professor from 1990-1995 at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, Dr. Oliver was the recipient of the Sears Roebuck Teaching Excellence Award given to only 700 professors in higher education for excellence in teaching and contributions made to the school and community.


Dr. Oliver is affiliated with several organizations which include the following: the American Guild of Organists, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Outstanding Young Men of America.   He is listed in Who's Who in American Education.


Dr. Oliver has made recordings at First [Scots] Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina (featured on the nationally syndicated weekly radio series “Pipedreams”), and the Martin Luther King Jr International Chapel at Morehouse College, which is also broadcast on PBS.  Dr. Oliver was on the roster of the Young Organists Cooperative from 1994-1998, and from 2000-2004 under the management of the Concert Artists Cooperative.