Conductor candidate to lead symphony

David Borman, who will direct the Columbus Symphony Orchestra during a Sunday concert titled “From America”, conducts during a past performance.

When conductor David Borman raises his baton Sunday, he aims in part to elevate inclusivity and equality — significant elements in a cosmopolitan community such as Columbus.

The 26-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, resident will lead the mostly volunteer Columbus Symphony Orchestra in a performance of a piece from Black female composer Florence Price, one of the few female African American composers of her generation with much common recognition. Borman called her “an absolute pioneer.”

She was the first Black woman to have her music premiered by a U.S. orchestra. The piece will be “Adoration.” Borman is the local symphony’s third music director candidate this season auditioning for the part-time music director role vacated by Josh Aerie, now pursuing other musical interests.

The concert at 3:30 p.m. at The Commons is themed “From America.”

“I certainly do value diversity and equity within classical music,” Borman said, speaking by phone from his home. “And I believe that community orchestras are a real beacon of that. And I think that those ensembles bear some responsibility to play music that feels and looks like their community.

“I think it only makes sense for us to take time to champion (minority) composers with music that is equally, if not more compelling, than pieces of their white male counterparts.”

Borman holds a masters of music performance degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Louisville and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in leadership at Spalding University. He has previously served as the associate conductor for the Louisville Civic Orchestra, which is Kentucky’s oldest such ensemble.

Additionally, he is the founding artistic director for the Derby City Chamber Orchestra.

“I really enjoy working with community ensembles,” Borman said. “And I love working with folks who play for the sheer joy of simply playing — just to make great music and to build a sense of community.

“Secondly, I’m an Indiana boy myself from Clarksville, having spent most of my life helping organizations in the Louisville metro area and throughout southern Indiana.”

The symphony is especially significant in the Midwest, since it is recognized as perhaps the oldest continuous ensemble in the state, having existed for more than a century.

Sunday’s program also will include Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto featuring Borman’s friend Eric Schultz, whom Borman called “gifted.” The assistant professor of music at Coastal Carolina University has been a quarterfinalist for the 2024 Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award.

Also on tap is Antonin Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, “From the New World.”

“I think people definitely will recognize pieces of this,” Borman said, adding that it has been used in TV commercials.

His goal for the performance is fairly simple, beyond pure enjoyment.

“I’d like people to take away the idea,” he said, “that music is for everyone.”

About the concert

Who: The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, presenting a concert titled “From America.”

When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The Columbus Mandolin Orchestra is scheduled to perform at 3 p.m.

Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St. in downtown Columbus.

Information and tickets: