A Lifetime of Music: the Story of David Rudari

For Dr. David Rudari there is no such thing as a normal day. When the alarm clock goes off in his family home on Howlett Hill Road, Rudari starts his day tending to his dog, Joey and his cat, Herman. Then he makes his way downstairs to visit with his Dad. From there it’s off to start his day as Professor of Music at OCC where anything can and does happen.

Rudari was always attracted to the world of music. His father frequently hummed tunes or played his ukulele and his mother’s soprano voice could be heard around the house and at church. The musical influence from his parents and grandmother led to him singing harmony. As a student in the Marcellus School District, Rudari began singing in middle school and continued on through high school. During his senior year he was selected to the New York State School Musical Association All-State Choir.

Rudari attended SUNY Fredonia and earned a bachelor’s in music education. He continued on to the University of Wyoming where he received a master’s in music voice performance. Those lead to a music teaching position at South Jefferson High School in Adams, NY.

Rudari returned to college in 1995 to pursue a doctoral degree in voice performance. Three years later he would travel to Salzburg, Austria to perform with the Academy of American Singers in what he would call, “The experience of a lifetime.”

Rudari would teach music at Bethany College in West Virginia for 13 years before returning to Central New York for a position at OCC. At every turn he has immersed himself in the world of music outside the classroom as an opera and oratorio performer, a church musician, an orchestra conductor, a guest conductor, and even a stint in the Syracuse Opera Company Chorus.

Through it all Professor Rudari has shared his passion for music with others who aspire to enter the field. He directs the Concert Choir and OCC Singers and teaches applied lessons and classes where he guides students in the world of music. Christopher Knapp had nothing but good things to say about his professor.“Dr. Rudari will never give up on a student until it works, and is an outstanding person to help you with anything you are going through. I am forever grateful to him for helping me get through my time at OCC,” Knapp said.

Though he’s only been at OCC a short time, Dr. Rudari has already become part of the fond institutional memories many students have of the music program. “Our students are wonderful and I enjoy the opportunity to showcase their talents in concerts and as a part of institutional events.”  Of his co-workers Rudari said, “I feel like I have another extension of my family. I am indeed fortunate to work with people who have an unrelenting passion for teaching, making music and making a difference in the lives of students.”

In his spare time, Rudari enjoys being with friends, attending concerts, theater, sporting events, biking and traveling. It’s no surprise he also likes to sing and conduct every chance he gets!

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