David Bennett Thomas

Composer, Pianist, Educator: Classical, Jazz, Choral, Chamber, etc...

“The chamber works of David Bennett Thomas may be categorized as neo-Romantic, neo-tonal, or even as a kind of sophisticated ‘fusion classical’ but these terms by themselves are inadequate to describe the complex mixtures of elements in his music. His strongest pieces reveal both modernist influences and contemporary applications, though blended to sound original and whole, not like self-conscious parodies or pastiches. Thomas is shrewd enough not to wear his influences on his sleeve, and these presumed sources are reworked with jazz harmonies and influences in an idiosyncratic but distinctive post-modern approach.”
—All Media Guide

Joel Frahm discusses DBT’s music on NPR

PLAYER

Click above to listen to saxophonist Joel Frahm discuss music from the album Headspace on NPR.

WRTI Review

PLAYER

Click above to listen to Kile Smith's WRTI Philadelphia review of the album "Paths," available through CD Baby and iTunes.

Choral Videos

Mass I - Kyrie Mass II - Gloria Mass 3 - Credo Mass 4 - Sanctus Mass 5 - Agnus Dei O Magnum Mysterium "Chanting to Paradise" on YouTube "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear" on YouTube In Time of Silver Rain, Video of Salt Lake "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear" on YouTube "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear" on YouTube "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear" on YouTube Gloria Patri

Jazz Videos

jazz video: His Heart Danced jazz video: Dieu jazz video: Nasty Roche jazz video: The Dying Day Fleece of Clouds photo album Headspace promo videos

Videos With Scores

It is recommended that you view the following videos in full screen, and in high definition. To do so, once in YouTube, select 720p at the bottom right hand corner of the window instead of 360p.

Instrumental:

Duo for Cello and Piano video: Elegy for Tu Fu video: Edifice video: Three Pieces for Clarinet and Piano Video: Piano Sonata No. 2 video: Conundrum (for two pianos) video: Steeples In My Soul score video: Fugue (from Piano Sonata No. 4 video: Paths (for alto flute and guitar, third movement Paws Bass Clarinet Solo Carla alto flute solo video

Vocal:

video: O Magnum Mysterium video: De Profundis Video with score: In Time of Silver Rain Video with score: Dieu for SATB, improvised piano Video with score: Mass Video with score: Songs of Seasons Video with score: Contemplations 1-3 Video with score: Gloria Patri

Jazz:

video: Wave of Light (Jazz Ensemble) video: Conundrum (for two pianos) Part Two video: Conundrum (for two pianos) Part Two Video with score: His Heart Danced Video with score: Eye of the Hurricane

Music Theory Videos for my students at
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia

Harmonic Analysis: Bach, Fugue in G minor, WTC Book 1 Motivic Development, Bach, Invention No. 1 Motivic Development, Bartok, Chromatic Invention Harmonic Analysis: Beethoven Pathetique, Second Movement Harmonic Analysis: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata video: Harmonic Analysis: Schubert, Der Erlkonig video: Harmonic Analysis: Grieg Notturno video: Harmonic Analysis: Wagner - Prelude to Tristan Harmonic Analysis: Liszt Un Sospiro Harmonic Analysis: Liszt Nuages Gris Harmonic Analysis: Richard Strauss “Morgen!” video: Harmonic Analysis: Debussy, Pour Le Piano, I. Prelude video: Harmonic Analysis: Debussy, Pour Le Piano, I. Prelude video: Fugue Analysis video: Intro, Bebop Language, Bill Evans Night and Day video: The Bebop Language Part II, Bill Evans, Concerto for Billy The Kid Jazz Reharmonization: Gil Evans My Shi[p from Miles Ahead Jazz Transcription: John Swana's EVI Solo on Music Leaping Jazz transscription: John Swana's EVI Solo on Wave of Light video:Jazz Transcriptions: Joel Frahm & John Swana - Learn How To Dance

View the entire theory video playlist on youtube

Broadcast Interviews

PLAYER

Click above to hear Marjorie Hermann interview Thomas on "Sounds Choral," WWFM, The Classical Network.

PLAYER

Click above to hear Gene Shay interview Thomas on the Opus 101 program of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum.

 


Photo: Melissa Morano

News

Thomas was recently awarded a grant from the American Composers Forum to record "Headspace," a new jazz cd of original material. In the band with DBT is Joel Frahm, John Swana, Matt Davis, Micah Jones, and Erik Johnson. The CD is available on iTunes, CDBaby and other places. Watch the promo videos! Read the All About Jazz review.

A new CD is out! "Deep, Deep Love" consists of over a dozen hymn arrangements and reharmonizations by Thomas, played by a jazz ensemble consisting of George Rabbai (trumpet), Paul Jost (voice), Micah Jones (bass), Larry Marshall (drums), Jason Fraticelli (bass), Brett Payne (guitar), Robert Frazier (horn), Ron Kerber (flute/alto flute/clarinet), and Paul Klinefelter (bass). Listen/order here.

David recently completed a new piece for the British ensemble rarescale. The piece is a duet for alto flute and bassoon called "I Need My Space," and will be premiered at the Colourscape Festival.

Thomas has been commissioned by a consortium of three choruses to write a new choral piece 0n the Langston Hughes poem "Shepherd's Song At Christmas." Commissioning choruses include Brookdale Concordia Chorale, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, and Brandywine Valley Chorale.

Salt Lake Vocal Artists will premiere "Gloria Patris" in Utah, and then take it on their Japan tour.

A new chamber music CD was recently released featuring players from The Philadelphia and Harrisburg Orchestras, rarescale, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Jeffrey Solow, Matthew Bengtson, Joshua Kovach and Terry Klinefelter; on Vectordisc Records. Listen to samples. Listen to a broadcast review by Kile Smith. Read CityPaper review.

David will be featured in an hour long broadcast on WWFM The Classical Network's "Sounds Choral" program on April 21st, which includes conversation and choral pieces from the last few years.

Brady Allred recently conducted "In Time Of Silver Rain" with the chorus Vox Gaudiosa, in Tokyo, Japan.

"Fine Tune" for bass clarinet and eight percussionists was recently premiered by Keith Koons and the U. of Central Florida Percussion ensemble; follwed by a performance and recording in Tampa by Calvin Falwell and The McCormick Percussion Ensemble. Further performances by various other ensembles TBA.

Thomas has enjoyed recently performing a new piece with the chorus The Musical Associates, which involves improvisation on piano while the chorus sings.

The scores of several of Thomas' chamber pieces are now available through Tetractys Publishing.

Thomas recently composed a new piece for Salt Lake Choral Artists (Brady Allred, director) which was premiered at the World Choral Symposium in Argentina, and performed at the International Choral Competition in Arezzo, Italy, where the chorus won five prizes.

A new piece for bass clarinet and bassoon was just finished for the the British ensemble Cuillin Sound, to be premiered in the UK, with additional performances in France.

Thomas has been chosen as the American composer representative to particpate in a choral competition in Croatia: Glazbena Mladez Split. He will judge compositions, and two of his works are on the compulsory list of pieces to be performed. More info.

Thomas' recently recorded a new CD of jazz compositions for Vectordisk inspired by lines from James Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." Thomas is joined John Swana, Ron Kerber, Kevin Hanson, Micah Jones, Erik Johnson, and Arturo Stable. It is being played across the US on many jazz and NPR stations. Click to listen. Read a review on All About Jazz.

The Vista Trio has been performing Thomas' "Short Suite" for alto flute, english horn, and bass clarinet on many music festivals and concert series throughout England.

The Gregg Smith Singers recently premiered a new work for chorus and organ in New York City, on Emily Dickinson's poem "To Know Just How He Suffered Would Be Dear."

Thomas recently traveled to Santiago, Chile to work with the students and faculty at the ProJazz school.

Coro de Cámara Ainur will perform "In Time Of Silver Rain" on the Canary Islands, Spain.

A new choral work commissioned for the choir at North Andover High School, Massachusetts, was recently premiered at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

A new double CD on the Innova label
has been released featuring "Whim" for solo flute. The release consists entirely of premiere recordings, performed by Mimi Stillman (flute) and Charles Abramovic (piano).

David recently traveled to London to record Paths, with Carla Rees (alto flute) and David Black (guitar) of rarescale.

David's Mass was recently aired on the program Classical Discoveries, www.wprb.com. "Short Suite" was aired on the program "Now Is The Time," on WRTI, Philadelphia.

A new album - Piano Works 2001-2009 -is now available. It includes the four piano sonatas, Four Etudes, and Conundrum (for two pianos). The performances are by Charles Abramovic, Matthew Bengtson, Carl Cranmer, and Gary Gress. Piano Sonata #2 was recently aired on WPRB, Princeton and on "Now Is The Time" WRTI Philadelphia.

David traveled to Israel for a performance of "Imagined Corners" for chorus, alto flute, and harp, with Naked Voices; Tamir Chasson, director.

Photo: Femme Vocal, Santiago, Chile, 2011The photograph above taken at FemmeVocal's performance of "The Island" in Sanitago, Chile. Photo by Pablo González Rojas.

Click here to see photo of David's hands larger
Photo by Peter Nelson.

Cover: Harry Sparnaay's "The Bass Clarinet"
Legendary Dutch bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay included Thomas' music in his new text. Order book.

David Thomas Faculty Concert 2014
University of the Arts poster. Click here or the poster to see it larger.



Performance of "Dieu" for chorus and improvised piano, with Musical Associates; Lancaster, PA. Photo by Farid Widjaya

David Bennett Thomas with five other musicians
In the studio, from left to right: Micah Jones, Joel Frahm, Erik Johnson, Matt Davis, David Bennett Thomas, and John Swana.

Musicians on Deep, Deep Love album