David Daniels & Team

David Daniels

David Daniels
David Daniels

In 1968, American conductor David Daniels began what he had intended to serve as a small summer project: a modest handbook of orchestral repertoire. Over the ensuing four decades, this work took on a life of its own. It has since seen five print editions and operates as the content source for this website.

In 2010, Daniels retired from conducting, having served as music director of the Warren Symphony in Michigan for 37 years. Daniels also taught at Oakland University for 28 years and has conducted a broad variety of orchestral works, operas, and ballets. Daniels has been a guest conductor in Boston and Detroit, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina, and Venezuela.

David Daniels received a Preparatory Department Diploma from Eastman School of Music, his bachelor of arts from Oberlin College, a masters in musicology from Boston University and a masters of fine arts in organ and doctorate in orchestral literature and conducting from the University of Iowa.
David Daniels, Obituary

David Oertel

David Oertel
David Oertel

David Oertel is Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Philharmonic and Starlight Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with the Austin Flute Choir (for four beautiful seasons), many youth orchestras, musical theatre and opera companies, community bands and orchestras as well as wind ensembles, jazz ensembles and silent film orchestras throughout North Carolina and Texas. Oertel was Music Director of the Lee County Orchestra in North Carolina for thirteen seasons and was honored with that orchestra’s 25th Anniversary concert in October 2013.

Oertel has also appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras in Houston, TX, Greensboro, NC, Austin and Central TX, St. Petersburg, Russia and Zlin, Czech Republic. Oertel has taught music in the public schools in Houston and at High Point University (NC), North Carolina A&T University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ​Additionally, he can be seen playing trumpet in the orchestra pit and on stage. As a side note, he is also an avid photographer!

Oertel holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as well as a Masters degree in Applied Performance from the University of Houston. His undergraduate degree is from the University of North Texas. Oertel has served as conductor and music director for over 30 musical theatre and opera productions including Don Giovanni, Street Scene, Sweeney Todd, Chicago, West Side Story, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bat Boy, and Seussical the Musical.

​Dr. Oertel recently signed a book deal as co-author with David Daniels and David Rahbee in writing the Sixth Edition of Daniels’ Orchestral Music.

Oertel has studied with many conducting luminaries including Robert Linder, David Daniels, Max Rudolf, Kirk Trevor, Samuel Jones, Hans Graf, Niklaus Wyss, Adrian Gnam, Franz Krager, Serge Zehnacher and David Holley.

David Alexander Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee
David Alexander Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is director of orchestral activities and chair of orchestral conducting. He is recipient of fellowships from the American-Austrian Foundation, the International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, and the Acanthes Centre.

He holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal. He has also attended the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His arrangements of various music for brass are published by Warwick Musics, and his articles on the music of Gustav Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others.

He is active internationally as a guest conductor.



1968 David Daniels begins research for Orchestral Music, with assistance of two grants from Rockefeller Foundation, via Knox College. Basis is personal examination of scores.
1972 Orchestral Music, 1st edition (produced on mainframe computer—ca.2600 entries), published by Scarecrow Press.
1981 Marshall Burlingame receives an NEA grant, through the American Symphony Orchestra League (now called League of American Orchestras), and begins research on the database that will become the Orchestra Library Information Service (OLIS), basing it on direct examination of orchestral parts (as opposed to scores) and consultations with orchestral percussionists on requirements (players and equipment). Much of the information is gathered from the library of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also includes much further information, such as individual movement titles, dates of composition, presence of errata lists and the like. Work continues in the winters of 1982, 83, and 84.
1982 Daniels: Orchestral Music, 2nd edition (typescript—3571 entries).

At the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) annual spring conference in Washington DC, Burlingame gives talk called “The Orchestra Librarian and the Music Director.” Daniels attends, and the two become acquainted.

1983 Marshall Burlingame becomes Principal Librarian of the Boston Symphony. ASOL’s Donald Thulean works on creating the instrumental symbology for OLIS, and works with a percussionist consultant on the percussion entries (George Gabor at Indiana University). [Also various refinements giving “program page” information were added to OLIS—but this was probably later.].
1 From a communication from Donald Thulean: “Burlingame’s objective was to catalog the BSO library. The Ford/Rockefeller grants were to help finance this effort, but [also] to underwrite new music reading sessions and ensure that OLIS would encourage new music as well as catalog the old.”
Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA) comes into existence in Philadelphia, March 1983. It will gradually grow from an initial 25 member-orchestras to over 200 institutions worldwide. MOLA members become very active in the development of OLIS and later OPAS (Orchestra Planning and Administration System), contributing errata and new information.
James Callahan, newly promoted to Personnel Manager (from Asst. Personnel Manager) of the San Francisco Symphony, consults a meeting of major orchestra personnel managers on the possibilities of using computer technology to ease their workload. He is interested in developing a computerized payroll system. However, his colleagues overwhelmingly believe a repertoire system would be preferable.
This leads Callahan to begin development of SOLI (Symphony Orchestra Library Information), with the assistance of his daughter, Claire Callahan Goodman, who is a computer expert. It is intended for desktop computers as well as multi-user/network operating systems, and is created in the Revelation database management system. Callahan markets it through his newly-created company Symphonia Software. Manually enters information from Daniels’ Orchestral Music (2nd edition). Offered at an introductory rate of $1950 for the first 10 purchasers.
A second generation, dubbed “Super SOLI” and given as a free update to SOLI subscribers, includes the ability to track artists, and to enter artists in concert programs. A number of major orchestras purchase SOLI at a cost of $3600 each. In all, about 20 orchestras, from the New York Philharmonic to The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, purchase SOLI.
1986 OLIS is published by ASOL (ca. 2400 entries on 5×8 cards). Marshall Burlingame, principal researcher. Grants from Ford Foundation & Rockefeller Foundation. According to Clinton Nieweg, Principal Librarian (ret.) of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the timings came from the performance cards of Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra (and therefore do not include exposition repeats of many works).

OLIS Users Advisory Committee listed in the Preface to the Users Manual:
Joan Bricetti—General Manager, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Rheda Becker—Educational Consultant, Baltimore Symphony
Mary Ann Coggins—Personnel Manager, Oregon Symphony
Joseph Giunta—Music Director, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony
Frank Milburn—Artistic Administrator, New York Philharmonic
Clinton Nieweg—Principal Librarian, Philadelphia Orchestra
Peter Smith—Executive Director of Fort Wayne Philharmonic

ASOL’s OLIS Staff similarly listed:
Donald Thulean—Director of Artistic Affairs, ASOL
Douglas Merilatt—Program Coordinator in Artistic Affairs, ASOL
Bob Olmsted—Director of Information Systems
Tamina Friedman—OLIS Project Assistant

1987 ASOL purchases SOLI from Callahan for $11,000. He signs an agreement not to produce any competitive product for five years; also he is forbidden to contact former SOLI clients.
ASOL modifies SOLI to accommodate OLIS; merges the two databases. Result: OLIS software with database of 4100 entries (2300 from OLIS and the remainder [ = 1800] from SOLI). 2
Heather Dinwiddie becomes the ASOL staffer in charge of the combined OLIS/SOLI. Claire Callahan Goodman expresses her willingness to help with any transitional problems that may arise. Heather Dinwiddie states that she is not allowed to make such consultation.
1989 ASOL begins using OLIS software to capture information on additional works from MOLA annual repertoire reports and premières listings. These works, ultimately amounting to another 7000 items, do not have complete information. Heather Dinwiddie works at researching them to render the information complete, but does not finish all 7000. These 7000, in various states of completeness, are not added to the basic OLIS database of 4100. Presumably they are still in the possession of ASOL.
2 From a communication from Heather Dinwiddie: “It was decided that, because there were several very large orchestras using SOLI, the SOLI works that weren’t in the OLIS database could not be removed, but that they should be distinguished somehow so that users would know that they hadn’t been ‘OLIS-ized’. Each work had two title fields – TITLE and COMPLETE TITLE. TITLE was for sorting purposes and was all caps and COMPLETE TITLE was the title according to OLIS standards. The works that came from SOLI only had a TITLE and no COMPLETE TITLE.”

3 These reports and listings were begun by MOLA (spearheaded by Mary Judge of the Cinncinnati Symphony) in the 1980’s, and taken over by ASOL in 1988-89. The project was retaken by MOLA in about 2000.

1990’s Creation of DOS version of the Orchestra Planning and Administration System (OPAS) by Hubert Woelbitsch (Woelbitsch & Partner, KG) in association with ASOL and Fine Arts Management (FAM). OPAS is designed to incorporate the OLIS database, or whatever database the user may have previously created. In the subsequent development of OPAS, a number of distinguished orchestra librarians are consulted who happen to be members of the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association (MOLA). Consequently the work is carried out according to MOLA standards and practices, and the MOLA membership is kept informed about the existence of OPAS.
1996 Daniels, Orchestral Music, 3rd edition (personal computer—4236 entries). Created using FileMaker software.
1997 Large orchestras begin to adopt OPAS, using their own databases, which were usually their own expansions and modifications of OLIS. The OLIS software (as opposed to its content, the database) gradually dies out by attrition. As orchestras without their own databases begin to purchase OPAS, FAM arranges to sell them the OLIS database ($1500, half of which goes to ASOL) as content for their OPAS systems. 4
2001 Kazue McGregor, Librarian of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (then President of MOLA) approaches Daniels and Tom Gaitens of FAM with the proposal that Daniels undertake to merge his database with that of OLIS. (The 7000 partial entries held by ASOL are available to become part of that merger at Daniels’ discretion.)
2003 All parties agree in principle to the McGregor proposal, Scarecrow Press (publisher of Orchestral Music) being the last to come aboard. Details are still under development, but the result is to be a merged database that will:
(a) be available to users of OPAS,
(b) form the basis for the 4th edition of Orchestral Music, and
(c) be placed on a website accessible by subscription.
In June, Fine Arts Management parts company (amicably) with the software portion of its business. OPAS will be sold, supported and developed in North America by a new company, Fine Arts Software (FAS), headed by Tom Gaitens.
4 In September 2003, Tom Gaitens (of FAM; subsequently FAS (Fine Arts Software) estimated that half the US clients plus 8-10 overseas clients have purchased the OLIS database for use with OPAS. Price unchanged from 1997-2003. 2004: 38 North American clients have OLIS.
2004 Agreements begin to be negotiated among the various parties (FAS, ASOL, Scarecrow Press, Daniels). Tom Gaitens converts the OLIS database to Daniels’ preferred application (FileMaker Pro). After numerous false starts, Daniels begins the lengthy project of merging the two databases.
2005 Orchestral Music, 4th edition published in October—approximately 6400 entries. The database is made available by FAS as an add-on for users of OPAS. Work on the web application is snarled.
2005 Web application is beta-tested. A prototype is demonstrated at an ASOL conference in June. Tom Gaitens of FAS is brought into the web application development process
2006 Web application is beta-tested. A prototype is demonstrated at an ASOL conference in June.
Tom Gaitens of FAS is brought into the web application development process.
2007 First update of about 500 changes sent to FAS, where it is processed for OPAS and the web application.
Thrust of the web application is radically changed: rather than emulating OPAS, the decision is made to emulate the book. A whole new application is created from scratch.
2008 Betatesting of the web application begins in early 2008.
2009 The online application, OrchestralMusic.com, is released for subscription in October. After some growing pains, it is updated monthly.
2012 An overhaul of the web application, with special attention to the search mechanism, is initiated. It was scheduled to take more than a year; in practice, it was partially completed and then merely abandoned.
2014 Daniels makes contact with ASIMUT, a Danish software firm, about taking over the database. He gives notice to Scarecrow Press (since purchased by Rowman & Littlefield) that the propriatorship of the web application will change to ASIMUT whenever ready. R&L are not happy, but they cooperate. ASIMUT hires an individual to oversee the new website.
2015 Daniels sends copy for the 5th edition to R&L. Publication, originally scheduled for April 2015, is deferred until August 2015, when it appears with 8500+ entries. Title is changed to Daniels’ Orchestral Music, and Daniels announces his intention to retire as soon as a successor author/editor can be identified.
Daniels selects David Alexander Rahbee, a conductor and long-time contributor to the database, as his successor, to manage the content of the database. Rahbee needs a partner with good computer skills. During discussions about what credentials will be needed, the perfect candidate appears: David Oertel, whose background includes commercial computer work and website construction at a high level; he is also a conductor. The team is set. Tentative plans are laid, and contracts signed, for a 6th edition of the book in 2022—the 50th anniversary of the first edition.
The ASIMUT website creation is not working out, and the firm has other crises looming, so the website launch, originally planned for January 1, 2015, gets pushed back to January 2016. Work begins on the development of the site under a new director, John Kjøller. Beta-testers are Daniels, Rahbee, and Oertel. Launch of the website as www.daniels-orchestral.com is targeted for April 18, 2016. Rowman & Littlefield make available the subscriber list to ASIMUT.
2016 Website launches on schedule, and is a big improvement. Changes continue to be made. The new team (Rahbee & Oertel) continues to work on the database which grows to about 8700 entries. Daniels is helping the two to understand the new system. By the end of 2016 about 8900 entries exist.
2017 The new team, consisting of David Rahbee, David Oertel, and John Kjøller, meets in Austin TX for several days in late August; Daniels sits in on several sessions via Skype.