David Freeman Coleman

Associate Professor of Theater
Affiliated Departments
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The secret to longevity in education is constantly finding the balance between excellence and fun. If it's not excellent, it's not the most fun. If it's not fun, it's not the most excellent.    

David Freeman Coleman joined the Conservatory in 2020 and is an associate professor of theater. He teaches script and score for graduate students and vocal repertoire for seniors and graduate students in the Theater Division.

Coleman is the director of choral music at the Dana Hall School and the director of the Tufts University Gospel Choir. Recent music direction credits include Choir Boy (SpeakEasy Stage Company, 2019; Elliot Norton Award nomination for Outstanding Music Direction), Miss You Like Hell (Company One/American Repertory Theater, 2019), Mad Moon (Emerson College, 2019). Recent associate music direction credits include Violet (SpeakEasy Stage Company, 2016) and Best of Both Worlds (American Repertory Theater).  He served as the rehearsal pianist for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (American Repertory Theater, 2011; Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, 2012) as well as Waitress, Crossing, and We Live in Cairo (American Repertory Theater).

Coleman has worked with Audra McDonald, Mariah Carey, Bobby McFerrin, Ryan Gosling, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, Phillip Boykin, Bebe Winans, Patti LaBelle, Phish, and Richard Smallwood. Performance experiences include Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Vatican, Symphony Hall, Fenway Park, and the House of Blues. He is the 2007 recipient of the Thomas Dorsey Award from New England Conservatory and the winner of two 2013 New England Urban Music Awards.

Coleman holds an M.A. in music composition and theory from Tufts University and a B.Mus in both piano performance and theory/composition from Boston University. He has extensive experience as a vocal coach and choir director, serving as choirmaster for the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and is a sought-after accompanist for all genres of music, providing work for the Tanglewood Institute, Boston Conservatory, MIT, Harvard University, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Coleman resides in Norfolk, Massachusetts, and also teaches virtually from home.

Professional Awards and Recognitions

  • Elliot Norton Award—nominated for Outstanding Music Direction, 2020
  • TEDx Natick —speaker, 2016
  • White House Featured Performer, 2014
  • New England Urban Music Award—winner, Best Gospel Male & Best Gospel CD, 2013
  • The Association of Boarding Schools National Acappela Competition—winner, 2012
  • BBC World News America—feature interview, 2010
  • New England Conservatory—Thomas A. Dorsey Award recipient, 2007

Notable Recent Works

  • Jelly's Last Jam (New Repertory Theatre, 2021)—Music Director
  • Once on This Island (SpeakEasy Stage Company, 2021)—Music Director
  • Ain't Misbehavin' (Central Square Theater, 2021)—Music Director
  • Choir Boy (SpeakEasy Stage Company, 2019)—Music Director
  • Miss You Like Hell (Company One Theater/American Repertory Theater, 2019)—Music Director
  • Wig Out (Company One Theater/American Repertory Theater, 2018)—Vocal Director