Daniel Newman-Lessler is music director of the Music Academy of the West Sing! program, UCSB’s Interim Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of the UCSB Chamber Choir, conductor of the Kadima Senior Philharmonic, and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.  He occasionally serves as assistant conductor for the Santa Barbara Symphony, and was the conductor for the Rubicon Theatre’s production of West Side Story.  He teaches piano at Pepperdine University.  He will be guest conducting the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra in January 2019.   

As a pianist, Daniel has won concerto competitions sponsored by SYMF, MTAC, and the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. He is a founding member of the Singer Chamber Players.  Daniel appeared on the sixth season of Glee as a pianist and has performed as a panelist for MTAC.  He served as the music director of the Harmony for Humanity Daniel Pearl World Music Days Festival in Camarillo for ten years.  

As a singer, Daniel has performed and recorded with Andrea Bocelli, Natalie Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, and David Foster at the Nokia Theatre, Capitol Records, and Paramount Pictures.  He serves as the High Holiday Cantor at Temple Ner Ami.  

His research on Dave Brubeck’s Gates of Justice received grant funding from University of the Pacific.  Daniel’s compositions have been performed by the Torrance Civic Chorale, Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, and USC Thornton University Chorus.  He is a lecturer for Cal State University Channel Island’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Daniel graduated cum laude from University of Southern California with an M.M. in Sacred Music and B.M. in Piano Performance.