David Passalacqua got a taste of competition for the first time when accordion-great Myron Floren presented him with a first place trophy at the age of 11. He began to participate in regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Accordionist's Association. He gives credit to his instructor Michelle Kramarz and jazz accordionist Tony Dannon, then studio owner, for his success in both competition and performing. Novelty pieces lead to classical ones that were transposed for piano accordion. By age 13, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D Minor, was his first real success, followed by works from Rachmaninoff, Paganini, Franz Liszt, Prokofiev, and "black-marketed" music from then communist Russia. These were among his favorites.
David was very successful in competition, winning numerous awards for age group, open solo and virtuoso divisions. Winning the Michigan State Championship at the age of 18, and fourth runner up in the United States National Virtuoso in 1978 were his biggest competitive achievements.
Presently he performs in various clubs in the Detroit area, also festivals in Michigan and other States.