PEAK Performer from the Past--David C. Dahlquist
David C. Dahlquist, affectionately known as Mr. “D” to his students, was the choral director at Payson High School from 1975 until his retirement in 2005. In those thirty years, not only did the choral program grow from two choirs and fifty singers to five choirs with close to 400 singers, the program added an Advanced Placement Music Theory class. Mr. Dahlquist also outlasted eight principals. His choir alumni number is over 2,100.
In recognition of his impact on students, his choir alumni, in 2000, established the David C. Dahlquist Scholarship fund from which, in the ensuing fourteen years, over $20,000 has been awarded to deserving Payson High student musicians to assist with their college education.
After retiring from Nebo School District, Mr. Dahlquist was approached to consider applying for the position of judge for the Payson Justice Court. He finally relented, was interviewed, and ultimately appointed to the bench. After being certified by the state’s Judicial Council, he was sworn in, in July 2008, as the judge of the Payson Justice Court. He subsequently won retention election in 2010 and is currently serving that six-year term as a justice court judge.
Mr. Dahlquist is also the founder and musical director of the Payson Civic Chorale, his adult choral group, that began in 1981. The choral group has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the Tabernacle on both Temple Square in Salt Lake and St. George, and numerous other venues.
Mr. Dahlquist has also been actively involved with Payson Community Theater since 1976 as actor, director, Board member, president, and currently as business manager.
Mr. Dahlquist and his wife, Maria Elena, are the parents of five children, four of which were developmentally disabled and have now passed away. Their family story was chronicled in the September 2002 issue of the LDS Ensign magazine in an article “In a Quiet House.” Their surviving daughter, Kristiana, a cellist, after graduating from BYU, taught orchestra for a year next door to her dad at Payson High School. They now spend spare time enjoying their five grandchildren.