NYSMTA Virtual Symposium | 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020


Philip Wharton

Commissioned Composer

Philip Wharton wrote his first song in second grade. It was something about a frog in a blue-green lagoon. He didn’t save it. Neither did his parents. He finally returned to composition while at college and hasn’t stopped since. Two aspects from that time continue to inform his music: wonder through the eyes of a child and love of the natural world.

A violinist, his earliest works feature that instrument: solo, sonata, and concerto. Growing up in a Midwestern college town, he embraced two additional influences: its choral tradition and art song—the latter thanks to the student and faculty recitals accompanied by his mother (for which he was often the page-turner). This inspired him to compose numerous choral works and song-cycles. His forays into the wind and brass worlds took him completely by surprise. Close friends asked, so he said yes. Then they kept asking, so he kept writing.

That frog from the blue-green lagoon must have croaked in Wharton’s memory, since he has now written music to three children’s books for narrator, orchestra, and projections.

Recent activities also include writing short chorale preludes for use in worship and arrangements of existing works for ensembles such as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Royal Philharmonic (London), and the Borealis Wind Quintet.

“No one is writing like him”
—David Del Tredici

The New York State Music Teachers Association is pleased to announce the 2020 NYSMTA Virtual Symposium scheduled  for Saturday, October 17, 2020.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Virtual Lightning Talk and Poster Display Session

Session Co-Chairs: Dr. Jacob Ertl and Dr. Leonidas Lagrimas

Submission Deadline: September 25, 2020 


The 2020 NYSMTA Virtual State Conference is seeking video and digital submissions for consideration to be included in our 2020 Lightning Talk and Poster Session on Saturday, October 17.


Following the success of last year’s Mini-Pedagogy Symposium, we are pleased to have the Lightning Talk and Poster session return as part of this year’s NYSMTA Virtual State Conference.


This event brings together NYSMTA and MTNA members representing a variety of music-related fields.  All NYSMTA members are encouraged to participate: collegiate chapters, college students, newly graduated young professionals, community music teachers, all private music teachers and collegiate faculty.

FREE Online Registration

To register

Commissioned Composer
Philip Wharton


Symposium Offerings

  • Lightning Talks followed by Q & A 

  • Commissioned Composer Philip Wharton; performance of Underground for Piano, Violin, and Clarinet, Meet the Composer

  • Poster Sessions

  • General Membership Meeting/Celebration

  • Forum Discussion (Constitution/Bylaws amendment approval, new officers slate, NYSMTA Citation Award, topic discussion)

Heddy Kilian Empire State


Bernadette Kessler