Keyboards/Vocals (Summer 1976-January 1978)
Photo by Bill Sosin
From the onset of high school, classically trained pianist/organist/composer/vocalist David Prochazka found himself sitting on the same piano bench as Skafish, with both accompanying the various Bishop Noll Institute school choirs. Prochazka, not inclined to be interested in pop culture, was enamored with 20th century avant-garde music, which in turn fascinated Skafish. The two became friends, discussing ideas for new and revolutionary art. By the time both graduated (they were born only two months apart) Prochazka was on his way to attending Notre Dame University, while Skafish was focused on being a performer.
From time to time when he was home from college, David would check up on what Skafish was doing, and when he formed his group in 1976, Skafish decided to try and recruit Prochazka. A few months later in the early summer of 1976, David did indeed join the act - even dropping out of school for the time being. David Prochazka, a brilliant, precise, and economical keyboardist, possessed a stoic, detached stage presence that intrigued audiences and journalists. Always encouraging Skafish to enhance his innovative focus, David’s support and suggestions were invaluable.
A few years after leaving the group in January of 1978, David re-dedicated himself to his academic pursuits in 1980, and received a B.M. in Music History from Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University. This was eventually followed by a M.A. of Library Science from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in 1993.
Before and after his experience with Skafish, Prochazka worked in many progressive, innovative artistic projects. While still at Notre Dame in 1975, he composed in song form “Five Poems of Emily Dickinson,” which was performed by Anita Hampton. He was the improvisational pianist for ballet and modern dance classes at the Frances Allis Studio in Chicago from 1982 through 1986. In 1988, he was the co-composer of “Gilgamesh,” a chamber opera performed by the Chicago Opera Theater. He’s also composed the musical scores for numerous theatrical productions, including several by the City Lit Theater in Chicago.
Besides his artistic pursuits, David worked at the Rush University Library in Chicago from 1982-1998, cataloging health science books and videos. He has conducted workshops and published articles in the field of Library Science. Currently, Prochazka is the Special Materials music cataloger at the University of Akron library in Akron, Ohio. There he works with jazz, classical, and musical theater CD’s and scores, making them available both statewide and nationally.
All photographs copyright by the respective photographers