FREng, PhD, CEng, FIET academic, organist, choral director, singer

Professor David M Howard is Head of the new Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway - a College of the University of London - which is in Egham, Surrey, about 9 miles from Heathrow Airport. He moved there in January 2016 to set up the department and to be involved in the design of the new Shilling Building which was formally opened on the 26th March 2019 by Dame Professor Anne Dowling.

David was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET),  Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics (FIOA) and Member of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians (MBAAP)

His main teaching interests are voice acoustics in singing and speech, speech synthesis, audio technologies, embedded systems, music technology. He researches in these areas with particular reference to the analysis and synthesis of the human voice; for both singing and speaking. Recently, he was lead author for work recreating the sound of the Mummy, Nesyamun which was published in Nature Scientific Reports and has attracted over 332,000 downloads and media attention from around the world. David's Vocal Tract Organ was used in this project and he hopes to have music specially composed for it in the future as he is working on a stand-alone MIDI or potentiometer controlled hardware version - do get in touch if you are an interested composer!

David is an organist at St. Mary's Thorpe, Musical Director of Feltham Choral Society and a choral singer. He links his musical interests in with his research whenever possible. From September 2015, Before moving south, David conducted Consonance, a York-based small choir that sang Evensong in St. Helen's Church in York approximately monthly, and   York Cantores. Until 2014 he was the conductor of the Vale of York Voices that sang Evensong once a month in York Minster. He is always looking for opportunities to play interesting pipe organs; they are so varied and typically, each one is unique.

David is very proud to have been made an Honorary Member of the Association of Croatian Choral Directors after giving an Invited Keynote at the Ars Choralis 2014 Conference and to have been presented with a plaque for his Scientific Research in the field of Chorusology.  He was further invited to give two Keynotes at Ars Choralis 2017 - the 5th International Symposium on Chorusology in Valetta, Malta on Tuning considerations in a cappella singing and on Acoustics of performance spaces and how to work best with them.

David gives lectures to encourage public understanding of science, engineering and technology as often as possible and has led a number of Cafe Scientifique events, National Science and Engineering Week stands, and has appeared on TV as presenter (Voice and Castrato for BBC4-TV) and many times as an interviewee. He works with Francis Newton on providing healthy voice use advice and guidance workshops as 'Voice Matters'.

Away from work David is a keen sailor and has completed the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Coastal Skipper qualification, he enjoys skiing when he can and is currently learning to program in Unity for virtual reality applications.

Activities of particular note ...

Nesyamun CT scan of head
Paper on Nesyamun published in Nature Science on 23rd January 2020: Synthesis of a vocal sound from the 3,000-year-old Mummy Nesyamun 'True of voice' by Howard, Schofield, Fletcher, Baxter, Iball and Buckley in which we took a CT scan of Nesyamun's vocal tract and 3-D printed the result, testing its acoustic properties using Howard's Vocal Tract Organ. The paper has attracted over 335,000 downloads by June 2020 and a huge amount of media interest.
Pitch contours
David gave his Invited Keynote to the Pan European Voice Conference - PEVOC-13 - in Copenhagen on the 30th August 2019 entitled: "In tune with pitch" exploring his work on pitch from his PhD on a speech pitch estimation device for single-electrode cochlear implantees to the various factors that affect directly pitch perception in choral and solo singing apart from fundamental frequency changes, such as timbre, vibrato and loudness. It was described as ' an unsurpassed brilliant Key note presentation'!
Tate Tanks where we performed - fabulous
Designer and choral quartet conductor for Making Waves in London's Tate Exchange and The Tanks (17-18th May 2019). I designed an interactive stand about the operation of the human voice - Micro Voice - which was placed in the 5th floor interactive space and organised a vocal quartet to perform- Macro Voice - in the fabulous and in my view, unsurpassed acoustics of the Tanks, a cappella slow pieces including Bogoroditse Djevo by Rackmaninov.

The Guardian article of 6th December 2018: "Lesley Garrett says King's College Choir must accept girls" quoted David and Graham Welch's 2002 Psychology of Music Journal's research article "Gendered voice in the cathedral choir". The article notes that an appropriate Musical Director can achieve a sound from a top singing line of girls that is essentially the same as that from a top treble line of boys.

David was invited to give two Keynote Talks at Ars Choralis 2017 - the 5th International Symposium on Chorusology in Valetta, Malta on Tuning considerations in a cappella singing and on Acoustics of performance spaces and how to work best with them. This was a special trip of the Ars Choralis conference who normally meet in Zagreb, Croatia under the leadership of Branko Stark.
The Vocal
                        Tract Organ performers (Sten, David, Brian)
David was invited to give a Keynote entitled The Vocal Tract Organ in the Special Session on 'Machines that can talk and sing' at the Care of the professional Voice Symposium in Philadelphia on 1st June 2017. There he demonstrated a cut-down version of the Vocal Tract Organ (given what one can travel with nowadays!) and there was considerable interest. He performed his Vocal Vision 2 for two male singers (Sten Ternström and Brian Gill) and Vocal Tract Organ (David Howard) - we three are in the picture!
FREng ceremony - David and Prince Philip
In 2016 David was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and was welcomed formally to the Academy by its Royal Fellow: Prince Philip during a formal dinner in London. David is a member of the Royal Academy's Education and Skills Committee.

David was invited to give a Keynote on the 1st August 2016 at the Performing Wellness Symposium presented by the Music, Mind and Well-being Group of the University of Melbourne and The Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare on: Performing vocal wellness in pitch control and its role in vocal intonation in choral singing.

David was guest speaker at the Westminster Education Forum Keynote Seminar: CULTURAL EDUCATION - take-up, diversity and developing skills for industry (Royal Aeronautical Society, 4 Hamilton Place, London on Tuesday 8th December 2015). His topic is: 'Creative Scientists' - what is the value of the arts for STEM?
The link between creativity and engineering forms the heart of this talk which notes the link between ingenuity and engineering and the need for creative input to all engineering processes.

David presented papers at the 11th Pan European Voice Conference (PEVOC-XI) in Firenze in September 2015 and took part in two invited Round Table discussions at the MAVEBA and COMET events running in parallel. The Vocal Tract Organ was featured along with work on voice synthesis and Vocal tract acoustic measurements. It was be a 2015 Grand Tour as he drove to Firenze in an MX5.

David has written Choral Singing and Healthy Voice Production for choral directors and choir singers which was launched in St. Sepulchre's, London with Ralph Allwood (who wrote the Foreword) with his Rodolfus Choir on Friday 20th February 2015. It covers voice production, vocal health, choral singing, warm-up exercises, and tuning and blend with examples to be used in rehearsals to develop skills. Published by Willow Leaf Media. Available on Amazon. Comments from Ninevoices.

David presented the Vocal Tract Organ in Berlin in November 2014 at the Die stimme im Ausnahmezustand event. The focus is on unusual voice performance instruments and how they are used in practice. This was a 'by invitation' presentation which was rather special and acknowledgement of the presence of the Vocal Tract Organ as a new musical instrument!

Here is David Howard with David Howard as I am wearing a David Howard dahlia. The dahlia is not named after me but after a British nurseryman. It can suffer from earwigs, caterpillars, aphids and glasshouse red spider mite. Rather smart(!) don't you think?

David worked with Andy Hunt at the 'I'm inclusive' music event in the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York on 1st March 2014 demonstrating new musical instruments and controllers including the Vocal Tract Organ.

David was a Keynote at the SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research) conference: 'Researching Music, Education, Technology: Critical Insights' conference at the Institute of Education, London, 2-3 April 2014 where he presented his Vocal Tract Organ.
Croatia Ars Choralis poster David was invited to  the Ars Choralis 2014, the International Symposium on Chorusology in Croatia (24-26 April 2014). There he will conduct and accompany a local choir at the opening ceremony and give a Keynote Paper on the Choral Sound. (Download poster: side A, side B). David is very proud to have been made an Honorary Member of the Association of Croatian Choral Directors and to have been presented with a plaque for his Scientific Research in the field of Chorusology at this event.
David will give a Gresham Lecture as part of the 2014 City of London Festival on Monday 30th June 2014 at 18.00 on The science of choral singing (venue and further details to be confirmed).
David appeared on French television 'Arte' in Les mystères de la voix humaine on Arte  on 22nd December 2013 at 22:25. In it he discusses the function and acoustics of the human singing voice and illustrates this with examples from his Vocal Tract Organ using an extract from his Vocal Vision II with York soloists David Howard and Ben Lindley.
David was been invited to speak at the European Choral Association meeting in Pecs, Hungary on 9th November 2014 on his work on choir research which is part of an EU  funded project titled VOICE (Vision On Innovation in Choral music in Europe). There he will outline the UK part of this project which is on healthy choral singing. (Download poster: side A, side B)

Past highlights ..
2020 (10th June): Covid-19 In Conversation with Ken Bozeman for the British Voice Association (BVA) on choral singing issues.
2020 (29th May): Invited Keynote, Spheres of Singing Conference, University of Glasgow & Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: Voice pitch and choral tuning.
2017 (1st June): Invited Lecture: Care of the Professional Voice, Philadelphia in session on Machines that Talk and Sing: The Vocal Tract Organ.
2017 (21st April): Invited Keynote, International Symposium on Chorusology, Valetta, Malta: Acoustics of performance spaces and how to work best with them.
2017 (21st April): Invited Keynote, International Symposium on Chorusology, Valetta, Malta: Tuning considerations in A Cappella singing.
2016 (10th Dec): Invited Keynote, Performing Wellness symposium, Melbourne, Australia: Performer vocal wellness in pitch control and its role in vocal intonation in choral singing.
2016 (2nd June) Invited Lecture, Department of Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University: Music technology and audio research.
2015 (4th Dec): Fairfax House, York in the AdHoc vocal quartet: Just another star.
2013-2015: Conducted concerts and Evensong for Consonance in St. Helen's, York
2013-2015: Fairfax House, York in the AdHoc vocal quartet: Of a rose is all my song.
2013 (5th Oct): Invited Lecture for the Combined British Voice Association (BVA) and Association of British Choir Directors (ABCD) Meeting: Voice Science for Choirs, Royal Academy of Music, London: The sound of the choir singer.
2013 (29th Sept): David gave an Invited Lecture with Ballatrix (World Female Beatboxing Champion) for the British Voice Association (BVA) Meeting: Interactive Rock and Pop Day, George IVth Pub, Chiswick, London: The science of beatboxing.
2013 (30th June): David give a lecture to the British Voice Association: The influence of room acoustics on voice: Perception and adaption.
2013 (30th June): David gave the Annual Gunnar Rugheimer Lecture for the
British Voice Association: The singing voice in performance – the shape of the vocal tract and its acoustics.

      email david on david at david m howard dot com

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