David’s leadership and friendship

By Judith Shatin

David and Janna are wonderful friends, and have been so for years. However, when David approached Michael and me about joining the Semester at Sea journey down the Pacific coast of Central and South America during the summer of 2007, we were somewhat skeptical. But he persisted, and we eventually agreed. Little did we know that this journey would turn out to be one of the highlights of our lives. This was a part of the world that we had never visited, and we still think of the rich friendships and unforgettable experiences. None of this would have been possible without David.
In addition to teaching courses in music (soundscape composition, including harvesting sounds ranging from hummingbirds to the sounds of the ship; and music theory, based on music of the countries we visited), I took students on a couple of memorable side-trips, including one to meet with musicians in Santiago. David also has the propensity for turning up just when he is needed, as he did at a program of my music in Santiago, where he stepped in and translated, no doubt improving upon, my remarks.
David has the extraordinary capacity to seemingly remember every person he meets, and certainly all of the students on this trip! He radiates positive energy, too rare a quality! On the rare occasions when problems arose, David was always ready to assist anyone who needed help. In sum, his friendship and kindness and the academic level that he both demonstrates and requires, elevated that entire experience, just as they have done throughout his career.