Whistlers from across Philadelphia are being brought together for the first time to perform as The Whistling Orchestra of Philadelphia. The selected Philadelphians will be performing a new composition written specifically for whistling by the artist Emma Smith. Commissioned by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art, Smith’s new work is inspired by music in the workplace and is composed in response to local archives and shared memories of making music at work in Philadelphia.

Watch and Listen

About the Orchestra

About the Artist

Emma Smith is a visual artist based in the UK, who works internationally. She has a social practice and creates public platforms for experimentation, research and action through site-specific events and installations. Smith’s work tests the boundaries of human connectivity: relationship, communication, and sense of place. For the past few years her work has focused particularly on voice and the extraordinary ways it connects us to one another and to place. Previous exhibitions and commissions include Tate Modern, Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, Bluecoat, Whitworth, ICA and Arnolfini, UK, with international projects across the globe.


The Whistling Orchestra of Philadelphia is commissioned by Temple Contemporary at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Our mission is to re-imagine the social function of art. The Whistling Orchestra of Philadelphia is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Temple Contemporary, Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University