On his own time, Wilber plays trumpet with the Salt City Brass and the Fingerlakes Brassworks Brass Quintet. He has also performed with the Salt City Jazz Collective. But his award comes primarily from his work with CNY Jazz Central.
“Dave was our very first scholastic program director, going way back to the 1990s,” said Larry Luttinger, executive director of CNY Jazz Central. “Our Scholastic Jazz Jam Series and SummerJazz Workshop are the products of his visionary input and planning from that time. He is long overdue in receiving this award.”
“As a music teacher, I think it’s a very important part of a child’s overall education experience, especially jazz,” Wilber said. “The skills they gain from learning their instrument can be transferred to other aspects of their lives. The discipline it takes to learn their instrument, the discipline to sit down and practice, can become the discipline to do their math homework, for instance.”