Waddy Thompson's works have been performed at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., St. Louis Spring Festival, Chicago Festival of New Music, Florida New Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Symphony Space, and at other venues. Described as "atmospheric" (Winter Morning by a Lake/string quartet version) and "engagingly antic" (Aria and Parody) by The New York Times, his works speak with a harmonic language all their own, very occasionally drifting into tonality, while always relishing melody.
He graduated from the Eastman School of Music (B.M.), where he was a student of Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner. Of equal influence were Douglass Green, author of Form in Tonal Music and his horn teacher, Milan Yancich. His interest in opera took him to graduate school at Florida State University, where he studied with Carlisle Floyd and subsequently with Allen Sapp, earning a M.M. and D.M.
He was a member of Encompass New Opera Theatre's composer/librettist workshop in the early '80s. The product of that workshop, The Girl on the Via Flaminia, was presented as a work in progress. Encompass also produced his chamber opera, All Are Not Frogs Who Gape for Flies.