Waddy Thompson’s works have been performed at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., St. Louis Spring Festival, Chicago Festival of New Music, Florida New Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Symphony Space, and at other venues. His works have received awards from the Windy City Gay Men’s Chorus and the Florida Festival of New Music, and he has received grants from Meet The Composer and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Described as “atmospheric” (Winter Morning by a Lake) and “engagingly antic” (Aria and Parody) by The New York Times, his works speak with a harmonic language all their own, very occasionally drifting into tonality, while always relishing melody.
He graduated from the Eastman School of Music (B.M., 1975), where he was a student of Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner. Of equal influence were Douglass Green, author of Form in Tonal Music and his horn teacher, Milan Yancich. Having decided that opera was his calling, he attended graduate school at Florida State University to study with Carlisle Floyd and subsequently with Allen Sapp, earning a M.M. in 1976 and D.M. in 1979.
He was a member of Encompass New Opera Theatre’s composer/librettist workshop in the early ’80s. The product of that workshop, The Girl on the Via Flaminia, was presented as a work in progress. Encompass also produced his chamber opera, All Are Not Frogs Who Gape for Flies. After 20 years of self-imposed compositional silence, be began writing again in 2008, atypically with a Christmas carol, “Embrace the Grace,” which was recently published by Sound Music Publications.
He currently is executive director of InterSchool Orchestras of New York, which provides an after-school program with six orchestras and a band for NYC students 6 to 19. He is a member of BMI.