harry whitney outside, smiling

Harry Whitney has written and performed a variety of music: from playing piano in jazz ensembles and choral accompaniments on the organ, to composing for solo voice, choir, chamber groups, and orchestra. He is Assistant Organist at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in San Francisco. He earned two degrees in music composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with David Conte and David Garner. Harry is a dedicated educator. He is Professor of Musicianship and Music Theory at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he teaches musicianship, music theory, and music appreciation in the Collegiate and Continuing Education divisions, and organ and composition in the Pre-College division. He was previously Artist-in-Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, and also maintains a large private studio of piano and composition students throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

COURSES TAUGHT

  • First Year Musicianship
  • Second Year Musicianship
  • Third Year Musicianship
  • First Year Music Theory
  • Second Year Music Theory

EDUCATION

  • BM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • MM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

ENSEMBLES

  • Assistant Organist, St. Dominic's Catholic Church

What is your hometown?

San Francisco, California.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Hiking.

Who were your major teachers?

Scott Foglesong, David Conte, and David Garner.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

Anything that they think is a “dumb question!” These often lead to the most fruitful classroom discussions.

What was a turning point in your career?

When I was a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Musicianship and Music Theory at SFCM, and realized how much I love teaching.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

Perhaps something in administration or accounting.

What is your daily practice routine?

Lots of keyboard harmony!

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, and Gabriel Fauré.

Please list your most important collaborations.

St. Dominic’s Schola Cantorum. I joined as a volunteer singer in 2014, and in 2016 became Organ Scholar under Director of Music and Liturgy Simon Berry. In 2018, the Schola premiered my Master of Music thesis on my degree recital.