Phillip Harris sang at Carnegie Hall as a soloist under the baton of Jacqueline Hairston (MidAmerica Productions) and at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center where Classical Singer Magazine noted,“Sims assembled a stellar group of singers with a talented younger generation of artists including Phillip Harris.” A winner of the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Harris has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, The Aspen Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Percussion Ensemble.
2019 was a pivotal year. He released a CD with Damien Sneed, available on all major streaming platforms, Phillip Harris in Recital which features classical art songs, arias, spirituals, and gospel repertoire. He also released a book on prominent composer and arranger Jacqueline Hairston entitled Songs and Spirituals: The Life and Music of Jacqueline Hairston and was honored to provide the foreword for Jacqueline Hairston’s song anthology of the same title available from Classical Vocal Reprints. He presented a masterclass, lecture, and recital on a topic he is very passionate about, the Classical songs of Black American Composers at Alabama State University and presented a recital on the same topic at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church. In the early spring of 2019, he created the world premiere roles of Lemlish and King Lamoni in Deon Price’s opera, Ammon and the King. Finally, he ended the 2019 season with an alum recital at the University of California, Irvine.
A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., he has sung over twenty operatic roles with organizations such as The Aspen Music Festival, Opera Las Vegas, Pocket Opera, Island City Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Opera in the Ozarks. Favorite roles include Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, the title roles in Don Giovanni , Le Nozze di Figaro, Les Malheurs d’Orphée, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and King Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Oratorio performances include the bass solo in Messiah numerous times with Beth Eden Baptist Church, the baritone solo in Duruflé’s Requiem with the San Mateo Masterworks Chorale, and the bass solo in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.
He was a graduate teaching assistant/adjunct faculty at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and taught private voice at The Aspen Music Festival Passes and Lessons Program, Bay Area Academy of Music (Pleasanton) , Dexter Music Academy (Newport Beach), Family Music Center (Las Vegas), VIbo Music School (San Francisco), and the Orchepia School of Music (Irvine). Previous classroom music instruction entails Stuart Hall for Boys (San Francisco) and his current position at Head-Royce (Oakland) as Vocal Music Director.
He has facilitated vocal workshops with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choirs Spring Showcase, where he was the Assistant Director of the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir, Progressive Baptist Church, and Beth Eden Baptist Church, where he also served as Director of Music. Other previous church related experience is from Beebe Memorial Cathedral (Director of Worship and Arts), Saint Columba (Pianist), Greater El Bethel (Pianist), Holy Trinity, A.M.E., (Pianist), First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor (Section Leader/Soloist), Christ Our Redeemer, A.M.E. (Pianist), Saint John Missionary Baptist Church (Director of Music).
His voice teachers include Darryl Taylor, George Shirley, Alfonse Anderson, and W. Stephen Smith. Harris holds voice degrees from The University of California, Irvine (Bachelor of Music), The University of Michigan (Master of Music), and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Doctor of Musical Arts).
Upcoming engagements include his debut with West Edge Opera and the Oakland Symphony. He will return to San Francisco Opera for a third season as an extra chorister this fall.