David McCarthy was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He has degrees in music from McGill University, the Eastman School of Music, and Houghton College, is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and a member of the AGO's Board of Examiners. He is the organist and choir director at Atonement Lutheran Church in Brighton, New York. He teaches music (organ, composition, history, and theory) privately and at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, where he is a lecturer. 

David performs repertoire and improvisations in concert regularly around the Northeast. He was a semifinalist in the 2016 National Competition for Organ Improvisation, and won second prize in the 2019 University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition. 

His compositions are published by Concordia Publishing House, Paraclete Press, and Augsburg Fortress, and on his website, and have been performed around the world; he has received a composer's award from ASCAP annually since 2005. David lives in Brighton, New York with his wife Sherry and daughter Leah.