SCOTT WHITTINGTON

 Piano and vocals. Jazz and popular songs by request.

 

Orchestral Endeavours

 

Although performing bistro jazz, pop classics and party music is my mainstay in terms of musical employment, my love of classical music rears its head regularly.

 

While performing bistro jazz, pop classics and party music is my mainstay in terms of musical employment, my love of classical music rears its head regularly.  Trained as a classical clarinetist, I also study the cello as a hobby, and my university studies in orchestration and instrumental technique have been catalysts in pushing me toward similar-but-different musical pursuits.  I have composed and arranged over 50 pieces for various musical formats – string orchestra, choir, concert band, woodwind quintet and jazz ensemble.

 

In 2008, I decided to pull out all the stops and bring to fruition a bunch of symphonic ideas I’d had floating around in my head for several years.  The result was “Metro”, an original composition for symphony orchestra which took a year to complete, and received its first performance in 2009 by the Dundas Valley Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Glenn Mallory.  Metro received a fine second performance in 2010 courtesy of the Redeemer Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Paul Thorlakson.

 

When people ask me to describe the style of orchestral music that I compose, I quote a good friend of mine who graciously described my music as “Gershwin meets Debussy”.  I’ll take it…

 

 

 

 

 

Metro Composition Celebrates the Urban Experience

 

Raised by a classical music-loving journalist mother and a jazz-crazed history teacher father, Hamilton teacher, performer and composer Scott Whittington ended up with his feet planted in both musical camps from an early age.  “Metro”, his newly-minted orchestral tribute to the urban experience combines his passion for both musical genres.  It will be premiered by the Dundas Valley Orchestra on May 24.

 

Performing professionally from the age of 16 in traditional jazz, swing, rock and fusion groups, Scott never strayed far from his other music roots, and ended up studying music arranging, history, theory and conducting at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music during his twenties.  He also studied music education, which led to a 25-year career in teaching.  His life has always been a delicate balance of performance career and educator, which continues to this day.  Scott combines his passion for teaching as a grade 5 teacher in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board with an active piano/vocal performance schedule in Muskoka resorts and area live music venues.  He is currently a featured performer at Spencer’s at the Waterfront in Burlington.

 

Whittington got the idea for a composition celebrating the urban lifestyle one day when he was reflecting on how as a boy, he couldn’t wait to leave his small hometown of Midland to “move to the big city”.  “I just craved the hustle and bustle”.  He spent 10 years in Toronto, then moved to Hamilton.  And two years ago, the Metro idea began to develop.

 

And while Hamilton isn’t Paris or New York, it still has the urban aesthetic that so many modern city-dwellers seek:  Ready accessibility to professional music, visual arts, drama and literary organizations and their respective performance venues; a virtual smorgasbord of culinary choices; endless opportunities to join groups of similar artistically-minded people; and perhaps most of all, that indescribable “buzz” that comes from sharing a city with half a million or so other people.  Metro is a celebration of all of this.  It consists of six contrasting sections, each one focusing on a contrasting aspect of cosmopolitan life.  Through the aural vocabulary of jazz, the driving rhythms and syncopation of Latin music, the passion of ethnic music, declamatory brass writing, and the energy and directness of popular music, the vitality and urgency of the contemporary city are suggested throughout the 12 minute piece.

 

“One of the greatest things about Hamilton”, says Whittington, “is its unbelievable geographical location.  How many cities of half a million can claim a waterfront on two sides, an escarpment snaking through it, breathtaking waterfalls everywhere you turn, and hiking and wilderness within 10 minutes’ drive?  I love this place.  I hope Metro reflects that.”

 

 

 

 

 

2011 brought a new flood of symphonic inspiration, which coincided with the retirement of conductor Glenn Mallory from the Dundas Valley Orchestra.  The result was a new composition entitled 3 Oceans, both celebrating the majesty and diversity of Canada, and paying tribute to departing conductor Dr. Mallory, a friend, inspiration and colleague.

 

3 Oceans was performed for a capacity crowd at the June 5 Dundas Valley Orchestra concert.  Further performances are planned for 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Scott Whittington