Philip Swanson

Professional Details

Title Professor
Department Music and Dance
Office Classroom Building 266
Phone 978.542.6504
Photo of Philip Swanson

Recent and Upcoming Courses

MUS 106N Piano Class I
MUS 180 Small Music Ensembles
MUS 232N Music Theory II
MUS 233 Ear Training II
MUS 241 Applied Piano II
MUS 261 Applied Instrumental Music II
MUS 332N Music Theory III
MUS 333 Ear Training III
MUS 341 Applied Piano III
MUS 346 Applied Music Composition III
MUS 432 Music Theory IV
MUS 500 Directed Study
MUS 91 Recital Attendance Credit
MUS 92 Recital Attendance
MUS 93 Recital Attendance
MUS 94 Recital Attendance
MUS 95 Recital Attendance
MUS 96 Recital Attendance
MUS 97 Recital Attendance
MUS 98 Recital Attendance

Professional Biography

Philip Swanson has had a distinguished career as a trombonist, pianist, organist, composer, conductor, and teacher. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts from New England Conservatory, Master of Music from the Eastman School, and completed his undergraduate work at Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Miami.

As a trombonist, he has performed with the Miami Philharmonic, where he served as principal for five years, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Opera Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and numerous other orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is founder of the brass chamber ensemble Morgenmusik, which features trumpet virtuoso and Eastman professor James Thompson. He performs regularly with several jazz groups including Chamber Jazz Trio and Bob Nieske's Big Wolf Project. He appears frequently in concert as a solo pianist performing his own works as well as his improvisations on jazz standards. He also has collaborated with poet J.D. Scrimgeour, forming the group “Confluence” which combines Scrimgeour’s poetry with his music. They have performed throughout New England to wide acclaim.
Swanson is an Associate Professor of Music at Salem State College, where he teaches music theory, composition, piano, and trombone. Since 1991, he has been Music Director of the First Congregational Church of Rockport, Massachusetts, where he serves as organist and choir director.

Swanson has written and published numerous works for various instrumental and vocal ensembles. He can also be heard on a wide range of recordings, including two solo piano albums of original works, an organ and trombone c.d. with organist Barbara Bruns, several small group jazz albums, and performances with larger ensembles, including John Williams and the Boston Pops. For more information on his recordings, visit