Philip Orr, Adjunct Professor of Music in Rider University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts, brings four decades’ professional experience in conducting, performing, and composing to his work with students in the areas of choral singing, piano, musicianship, music history and music theory.
The conductor of choirs of all ages and abilities since 1979, and of the Rider University Choir since 2008, his vision promotes singing with passion and integrity the joys and concerns of our own time and culture, and those of others. A graduate of Westminster Choir College (B.M. summa cum lauda; M.M. with distinction), he studied conducting with maestri Jordon, Megill and Flummerfelt. His student career placed him under the batons of conductors Masur, Sawallisch, Rilling, Salonen and Macal, performing the choral masterworks of Britten, Honegger, Dvorak, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bernstein, and Mendelssohn in the great concert halls of New York and Philadelphia.
Mr. Orr's performances have largely centered on his work as piano, organ and/or synthesizer soloist and collaborator in concert halls, nightclubs, pit orchestras, organ lofts and recording studios, with occasional forays as trumpet/flugelhorn/mellophone soloist; he has been a featured performer on nine album-length recordings. The former accompanist and sometime arranger for singers Vic Damone and Sandler & Young, Orr’s jazz pianism has joined him with Don Elliot, Melvin Sparks and Art Davis among many others. Locally, Orr has joined with Rider colleague Jerry Rife to perform concerts of “Dixieland Hymns and Spirituals” and Christmas jazz, and reed man/composer Steve Hiltner performing original contemporary post-bop jazz with his Sustainable Jazz Ensemble.
The recipient of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship for composition and several ASCAPlus Writers Awards, his published compositions and arrangements integrate his eclectic tastes into works for solo voice, choir, instrumental solos and ensembles in various genres.
Philip Orr is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers [http://www.ascap.com], and Pi Kappa Lambda. His compositions have been published by Hope, Transcontinental, Church Publishing, and Orrganized Sound.