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Philip DeWalt

Adjunct Instructor, Composition

Philip DeWalt is a composer and former public school conductor / band director and music educator and a life-long resident of Kansas City.  His principal instruments are piano and mandolin. He is currently the president and music director of the Mandolin Orchestra of Kansas City (MOOKC), founded in 2016. DeWalt earned his DMA in composition from the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2017, and his Bachelor of Music Education in 1978 and Masters of Music in composition in 1990, also from UMKC. DeWalt studied composition with Gerald Kemner, Raymond Luedeke, James Mobberley, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and Paul Rudy and studied piano with Ruth Ann Rich and Efim Tolpin. For his dissertation he composed an orchestral soundtrack to accompany the classic surrealist movie Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali.

DeWalt's composition for mandolin orchestra, Coming Attractions took 2nd place at Spain's 2015 Concurso de Composición para formaciones de Plectro “Ciudad de Logroño” / “José Fernández Rojas."  Other recent works include Moments of Zen—21 Character Pieces for Mandolin OrchestraA Clockwork Caravan, theme and variations for piano based upon the jazz standard CaravanBukowskiana, a set of songs and dances for soprano, mirliton (kazoo) and mandolin based upon texts by Charles Bukowski, Seven Marches for saxophone quartet, Milkweed for alto flute, vibraphone and piano and Three ‘flations for piccolo and piano.  His composition Three Dramas won UMKC’s 2014 Gerald Kemner orchestral award.

He has been musically active in the Kansas City area for most of his career as a performer and composer.  Several of his compositions were commissioned and premiered by the Kansas City new music ensemble, newEar.  These include OvipositorQuartet AtomicPenguin in the Powerhouse, and The Shedding (in collaboration with choreographer Cati Blanche).  His compositions for mandolin are published by Haus der Musik Trekel and the Journal of the Classical Mandolin Society of America.

DeWalt taught band, orchestra and general music for the Kansas City Missouri School District for 25 years and retired in 2010. He is married to UMKC alumni Teresa Bieri and has two children, Preston and Ian.