Student and Alumni/ae Spotlights

David Bloom '13, M.M. '14

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David Bloom of Birmingham, Alabama, is the co-artistic director of the music ensemble Contemporaneous, which is based at the College and includes many Bard alumni/ae and students. He received his B.A. in music at Bard, and is now pursuing graduate study in the Orchestral Conducting Program at the Bard Conservatory of Music.

The faculty is the best thing about Bard. When I was looking at colleges, I knew Bard had this incredible, star-studded faculty with Joan Tower, George Tsontakis, and James Bagwell. They are fantastic teachers and have become formative figures in my life, musically and otherwise. I was looking for a small school where I could have a strong liberal arts education and a strong musical presence and mentorship. I’m happy that I was able to study history, German, logic, and philosophy, as well as music.

Dylan Mattingly ’14 and I founded the ensemble Contemporaneous at Bard in 2010. We wanted to organize concerts and fill a void that we saw at the College for a student-run new music outlet. Every one of us believes there’s no reason that the standard Classical repertoire should get our attention more than brand new pieces. We all love the opportunity to work with living composers and love to play together. The plan in a couple years is for Contemporaneous to transition into a professional ensemble based in New York City. We released an album in 2012, comprising three pieces written specifically for us by Dylan. We play our “home games” in the chapel, which has been an amazing ground for us to experiment. The audience at Bard is incredibly receptive, enthusiastic, and adventurous. We’re always able to fill the house.

I graduated with my B.A. in May, and I have one more year in the master’s program. I’ll continue composing, conducting, and very likely teach eventually. In the long run, I know I want to do new music. That’s what I think about every morning when I wake up. Bard has offered me the freedom to find out what it is that I love. Here, I’ve discovered what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.