Daniel J. Van Gelderen is an accomplished cellist, conductor, and composer. Daniel’s interest in music began at an early age, encouraged by his family as all of his siblings play stringed instruments. As Daniel was growing up, his family participated in a number of musical competitions and events. They spent weeks each year traveling around the country, using their talents to minister in churches as a family. Daniel studied violin before taking up cello, which he has now played for over twenty-three years. For nine years he participated in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and while still in high school, he spent three summers at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
Before the age of 30, Daniel composed and arranged over 200 works for various groups including symphony orchestra, string orchestra, concert band, choir, men’s ensemble, string quartet, and brass choir. His headline work to date, A Remembrance and A Christmas Gloria were commissioned and performed respectively in 2011 and 2017 by the Bel Canto Chorus and music director, Richard Hynson. His compositions are featured on eleven professional recordings, ten of which he produced. Six of his recordings feature vocal groups that he founded and continues to direct. The Baptist College of Ministry Concert Chorale performs regularly and has been featured on four recordings. The Chorale has toured the East Coast and throughout several southern states. A select ensemble from the group (The 16 Singers) performs repeatedly at public and private functions, including singing regularly for Governor Scott Walker at the Executive Residence in Madison. They recently performed for the governor’s inauguration in 2015. Daniel also collaborates regularly with his sister, Mary Faith Williams. Together, they have produced two cello and piano recordings.
Another milestone in his young career was performing in 2010 as a guest conductor at the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Daniel presently serves as the Artistic Director for Falls Baptist Music School and Baptist College of Ministry, a position that includes directing several large ensembles, including a symphony orchestra and a 120-voice college choir. Groups under his direction have performed such works as Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony, Beethoven’s 3rd, 5th, and 7th Symphonies, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Rutter’s Gloria and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
As a professor of music at his alma mater, Daniel teaches classes in composing and conducting. He also maintains a private cello studio oﬀering private lessons. His work as an educator at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels ﬂows from his passion to use music as a tool to develop personal character and leadership skills in the lives of students. The ultimate goal in his training of musicians is to see them achieve excellence while learning how to use their skills to transform the lives of others.
Daniel and his wife Allyssa have a daughter and son. They make their home in Milwaukee, WI and both serve on staﬀ at Falls Baptist Church. Outside of his ministry and musical endeavors, Daniel enjoys spending quality time with his wife and daughter, reading a good book on World War II, and traveling to new places around the world – especially exploring European cities. He is passionate about training the next generation of young people to believe that God can use their lives to change the world.