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, Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, and numerous other orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is co-founder with Richard Given of the brass chamber ensemble Morgenmusik. He also performs regularly with several jazz groups including: Chamber Jazz Trio and Bob Nieske's Big Wolf Project.
Dr. Swanson is an Assistant Professor of Music at Salem State College in Salem, MA where he teaches music theory, composition, piano, and trombone. Since 1991, he has been Music Director of the First Congregational Church of Rockport, MA where he serves as organist, choir director, and administrator of the Old Sloop Concert Series.
Dr. 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 a solo piano album of original works, several small group jazz albums, and performances with larger ensembles, including John Williams and the Boston Pops.
Phil Swanson Trio:
Phil Swanson - trombone
Tony Wolff - guitar
Barry Smith - bass
What is it about a great melody and the powerful emotions it can evoke - comfort, hope, despair, longing, excitement, regret, wonder - that affects us so, and that just won’t let go? Some of our greatest composers have reflected on this:
"The capacity for melody is a gift. This means that it is not within our power to develop it by study." - Igor Stravinsky
"Why a good melody should have the power to move us has thus far defies all analysis. We cannot say, with any degree of surety, what constitutes a good melody." - Aaron Copland
Whatever "it" is which constitutes a good melody, The Song Endures is full of them. On this record, trombonist Phil Swanson is joined by guitarist Tony Wolff and bassist Barry Smith. Together, they explore the rich tradition of song in a collection of classic tunes. The beauty of these songs and the improvisations they inspire in these musicians pervade this album. MSRCD (2007)