Phil graduated from Curley in 1979 and attended Loyola College for a year, before transferring to Towson University to major in Psychology. Having received his bachelor’s in General Psychology, he pursued a master's degree in Clinical Psychology. With his master’s in hand, he worked in crisis intervention, then in Washington DC as a master’s level psychologist in a level 6 program treating dually-diagnosed children and adolescents. As chairman of the behavioral management committee there, he guided the re-writing of the behavior management policy for the treatment center. He also served on the human rights committee of the Joseph P. Kennedy Center. If that were not enough to keep him busy, he also did individual and group therapy with adolescents.
Then he made a change. “While happy in my job,” he recounts, “it was then that I decided to pursue my first love, music, and I enrolled in Towson University for a second bachelor’s majoring in music education.” He taught in Anne Arundel County Public Schools until the end of that year and enrolled in the University of Maryland College Park where he received a master’s degree in music and an additional 12 credits in their Advanced Special Studies Program. He began teaching at the Community College of Baltimore County as adjunct faculty in 2003 and received his master’s in jazz performance (upright bass and electric bass) in 2011.
Quite a career change!
Ravita now works at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where he teaches applied lessons on all string instruments and recruits for the music division of the Department of Fine Arts. He visits area high schools offering master classes and assisting band directors with their ensembles. As an endorsed Eden Bass Amplfication Artist, he will be conducting Public Master Classes in the fall. Recently he was appointed President of the Maryland Area College Music Association.
In addition to his teaching, Ravita continues the performance side of his career. “I have performed for The Maryland Arts Festival and shared the stage with nationally known artists Scott Wenholdt, Steve Wilson, Claudio Roditi, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Shew, Ruby Glover, Beverly Williams, Chris Potter, Scott Winhold, John Marcellus , Mark Gross and Gabrielle Goodman…I continue to be active in the Baltimore/Washington music communities and continue to accompany guest artists in the DC Metro area. I have performed with the touring company of Grease and have been the principal bassist for the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra for the past 17 years and serve as the chairman of their board of directors.“
As a composer and arranger, Ravita has won numerous awards and has recorded and published CDs of his compositions. The Phil Ravita Jazz Group recorded a track on Baltimore Jazzscapes II. His website www.BaltimoreBass.com goes into greater detail on his musical career.
His senior entry in the 1979 CORD lists “teacher” as his career goal. He believes that his Curley experience “reinforced the moral and ethical training provided by my parents and family. This ultimately gave me the foundation to succeed and persist in my chosen profession and in my past profession.” It is interesting that, in the pre-David Stauffer era, a Curley alum found his way to jazz!
Phil lives with his wife of thirty years, Sandy, in Towson. You can reach him at Phil@BaltimoreBass.com.