David Thomas
Head: Composition Studies
Assistant Professor
M, Peabody Institute
BS, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

David Bennett Thomas teaches theory, composition and piano at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He received degrees from West Chester University (B.S.) and the Peabody Conservatory (M.M.). His private teachers include Lukas Foss, Steven Mackey, Ron Thomas, Jacques Voois, Michael Connell and Donald Chittum.

He has written in many genres, including works for solo voice, chorus, orchestra, chamber groups and piano. His works have been performed throughout America and abroad, by groups such as the Gregg Smith Singers, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, rarescale, the New York Treble Singers, Relache, Naked Voices (Israel), Melomanie, the Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble, Chicago Choral Artists, Dolce Suono, Singing City, pianists Matthew Bengtson and Charles Abramovic, soprano Rosalind Rees, cellist Jeffrey Solow, saxophonist Marshall Taylor, the Orchestral Society of Philadelphia, and many others. His music has also been performed at the Festival of the Hamptons, the Bethlehem Guitar Festival and the New York Flute Club. Thomas has served as composer in residence at the Adirondack Festival of American Music.

He has received grants from the American Composers Forum (Subito, Community Partners), the University of the Arts and the Peabody Conservatory to support the recording of several of his compositions, which have been released on Capstone Records ("Chamber Works" CPS 8754; "Songs of Seasons" CPS 8791), Arizona University Recordings ("A Tribute to Adolphe Sax, Vol. IX"), rarescale records ("rarescale plays David Bennett Thomas" rr003) and his first recording "The Music of David Bennett Thomas, Volume One."

Thomas' music has been heard on WWFM's "Divertimento" program, WVUD's "Fine Tunings" program, WRTI's "Now Is The Time," as well as WBAR 87.9FM, New York.

His music has been published by Shawnee Press and Tetractys Publications. Critics have referred to his music as "convincing on both structural and emotional levels ... music that speaks with no pretension" (The Classical Source); "immediately engaging ... playful, soulful, technically dazzling, and often acutely communicative (Philadelphia Music Makers); "honest and completely convincing" (The Daily Local); "concise and comprehensible, though he doesn't talk down to the listener or subscribe to any isms ... this is a composer with an individual voice" (American Record Guide).

Recent commissions have come from the New York Treble Singers, the Brandywine Valley Chorale, the Chester County Pops Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, the Chester County Choral Society, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, rarescale, SCAW, Dolce Suono and the American Composers Forum "Community Partners" program.

Future projects include performances and live broadcasts with the chorus "Naked Voices" in Jerusalem, Israel; a recording of his piano works; and a recording of music for flute and guitar by the rarescale ensemble. He has also recently taught masterclasses in Santiago, Chile.

Thomas won the Philadelphia Young Composers competition and the Morawetz Award in Composition. He is also the author of "A Conversation with Lukas Foss," which was published in The Journal of the Conductors Guild and subsequently published by Carl Fischer.

He performs with his jazz group three nights a week at Sullivan's Steakhouse, in King of Prussia, Pa.

Listen to some of Thomas' Jazz compositions and arrangements as performed by fellow UArts School of Music Faculty members and see his music theory videos created for students in his theory classes.

Class Schedule, Fall 2016

T,F11:30AM - 12:50PMMusic Theory I
T,F08:30AM - 09:50AMMusic Theory I
T,F10:00AM - 11:20AMMusic Theory I

Contact Info

Office: Merriam Theater 4TH
Tel: 215-717-6342
Fax: 215-545-8056