Music Professor Tom Whitman '82
Helps Settlement Music School Celebrate Centennary
by Alisa Giardinelli
Tom Whitman '82
Associate Professor of Music Tom Whitman '82 is one of three local composers commissioned by Philadelphia's Settlement Music School to write pieces for the school's student ensembles in honor of their centennial year. He says his "Holmes Suite," for piano quartet (piano, violin, viola, and cello), is a set of six miniatures, loosely modelled on music from the opera "A Scandal in Bohemia" that he is currently writing in collaboration with Swarthmore Professor of English Nathalie Anderson. The work will be performed on Sun. Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum as part of Settlement's Advanced Study Ensemble Student Recital.
"I had previously worked with Settlement students when they played a movement from my piano quartet in 2005-06," Whitman says. "It's been a wonderful opportunity for me to work with these extraordinarily talented, enthusiastic, and accomplished teenage musicians."
Whitman is the founder and co-director of Gamelan Semara Santi, Swarthmore's classical and contemporary Indonesian percussion orchestra, and teaches courses in Balinese Gamelan performance, music of Asia, harmony and counterpoint, Beethoven, Mahler, Britten, and music education. He also runs the Chester Children's Gamelan Project, introducing traditional Indonesian performing arts traditions to schoolchildren in Chester, Pa.