Bass-Baritone Vocalist David L. Tigner, 61

David L. Tigner

Renowned bass-baritone David L. Tigner, 61, died Dec. 11 of chronic renal and congestive heart failure. As a child, Tigner discovered he had perfect pitch plunking out a Johann Sebastian Bach prelude by ear on a broken piano at his family’s Sebastopol home. He joined the San Francisco Opera in 1974 after two years studying music at Pacific Union College in Angwin. He performed extensively with the San Francisco Symphony and on stages from New York City to London. But his legacy perhaps rests with his students, a diverse group of professional singers as well as children he taught for more than 30 years at UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program for musically gifted youth from poor families. He will be remembered for his outstanding performances of the Verdi’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah . He had an encyclopedic knowledge of music that spanned from operatic masterworks to African-American spirituals. He was deeply religious and sang at churches throughout the Bay Area and in Southern California where his sisters live. Tigner was born May 28, 1951, in Santa Rosa to Joseph and Mary Tigner, growing up surrounded by cherry, plum and apple trees in a small home. He attended Redwood Adventist Academy in Santa Rosa until the 10th grade, and he began to seriously study music during his junior year at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy in Healdsburg. He is survived by his sisters Linda Tigner-Weekes and Lois Saunders; and  by brothers Joseph Tigner, Jr. of Vallejo and Johnathan Tigner of Fontana. A memorial service was held in Sebastopol. Donations may be made in Tigner’s  memory to the Redwood Adventist Academy, 385 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.
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