About Me

Donald (Donny) Landers IV is a born-and-raised native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He started piano lessons in 1994 with Araks Aghazarian of Starland Music Center. in 2000 he joined the Piedmont Children’s Choir and traveled to Italy, Slovenia, Finland, Latvia and Estonia as soprano section leader of the choir’s competing group, earning first place in contemporary divisions in Gorizia, Italy. He wrote his first composition for piano, “Mestique,” in 2003 and performed the piece that year in the Kofman Auditorium in Alameda, California.

Donny left the Piedmont Choirs to focus on his high school career, both artistic and academic. While maintaining a high GPA and taking advanced courses, Donny performed leading and supporting roles in Alameda High School’s theater and musical theater productions each year. During the summers of 2005 and 2007 he performed several musicals with the Alameda Civic Light Opera. The summer of 2008 brought his downtown San Francisco debut as a cast-member of “Oh My Godmother,” an original musical written and directed by Ron Lytle.

Donny is starting his eighth consecutive semester of study this spring at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he is studying Film Scoring and Music Education. He plays the accordion regularly in student recitals, recording sessions and scoring sessions and accompanies other Berklee students on piano for auditions and vocal proficiency exams. Donny performed on the BPC stage as pianist of the Musical Theater Orchestra in December 2009, and at the David Friend Recital Hall in May and July 2009. In March 2010, Donny performed French bal-musette accordion music at the International Folk Festival, and in April, he assistant stage-managed (as well as sang and danced in) Berklee’s production of Elton John’s “Aida” at the BPC. Donny is stage-managing Berklee’s production of “Ragtime: the Musical” in the spring.

Donny interned last semester with Paramount Pictures, working on an online catalogue of their eighty-year-old film music library. He teaches group and private piano and accordion lessons in Roxbury and Newton, Massachusetts.

Currently, Donny is working on a percussive orchestral score for “Raindance,” an animated short film in production at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Experience & Education

Current

  • Choral Accompanist for Newton Public Schools
    August 2012 to Present (about 7 years)

    Accompanying fourth- and fifth-grade student choruses in the Newton, Massachusetts Public School District.

  • Private Instructor for Music & Arts, Newton Centre
    March 2010 to Present (over 9 years)

    Teaching piano and accordion to youth and adults, with an emphasis on a firm understanding of musical theory and composition

Past

  • Piano/music theory instructor for Sociedad Latina
    December 2008 to December 2011 (over 3 years)

    I taught students from ages 8-17 the basics of music theory and piano technique in group and private lessons at this inner-city cultural center in Roxbury, MA.

  • Music Copyist, Intern for Music & Motion Productions
    May 2011 to August 2011 (3 months)
  • Intern - Film Music Scholastic Initiative for Paramount Pictures
    September 2010 to January 2011 (4 months)

Education

  • MM in Composition at Longy School of Music
    2012 to 2014 (2 years)
  • BM in Film Scoring, Music Education at Berklee College of Music
    2008 to 2012 (4 years)