Phillip Harris is an active singer, teacher, recording artist, author, and church musician who possesses skills in a variety of areas. He made his Carnegie Hall (MidAmerica Productions) debut with Jacqueline Hairston as a soloist singing her spirituals as well as singing "My Soul Fell Down" from Wynton Marsalis' jazz oratorio, Blood on the Fields. " He performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony in Davies Hall, at the New York City's Lincoln Center, the Aspen Symphonic Wind Orchestra, the San Mateo Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Percussion Ensemble. He has won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Encouragement Award), local National Association of Teachers of Singing (1st Place) and 2nd place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition. His gospel and jazz study has allowed him to perform with Wycliffe Gordon and the artist formerly known as Tonex. Upcoming engagements include his debut as a baritone soloist with the Oakland Symphony in Sanctuary Road , with West Edge Opera in Elizabeth Cree , an extra chorister with the San Francisco Opera, and a masterclass clinician at Los Medanos College.
A member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., he holds voice degrees from the University of California Irvine, (Bachelor of Music) University of Michigan, (Master of Music), and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Doctor of Musical Arts). His CD, Phillip Harris in Recital with Damien Sneed, is available on all major digital streaming and downloading outlets and his book can be purchased upon request, Songs and Spirituals: The Life and Music of Jacqueline Hairston.
As an opera singer, Harris has sung over twenty roles with organizations such as the Aspen Music Festival, Opera Las Vegas, Pocket Opera, Island City Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, University of Michigan Opera Theater, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Opera Theater, and University of California, Irvine Opera. He recently created the world premiere performance and recording of Deon Nielson Price's Ammon and the King in the role of Lemlish and King Lamoni. Select opera roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Schaunard and Marcello in La Bohéme, Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus), The Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance) , Junius (The Rape of Lucretia) , Marquis de la Force ( Dialouges des Carmélites) , Mr. Dashwood (Little Women) , The Learned Judge (Trial by Jury), Cascada (The Merry Widow), Junius (The Rape of Lucretia), and Orphée (Les malheurs d'Orphée).
Oratorio performances include several appearances singing the bass solo in Messiah with Beth Eden Baptist Church and Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, the baritone solo in Duruflé's Requiem with the San Mateo Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, and the bass solo in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor.
Dr. Harris has presented recitals across the bay area on the music of Black American classical composers and is a rising scholar in that area serving as an assistant administrator for the African American Art Song Alliance. He presented a lecture, masterclass , and recital on the music of Black American Composers at Alabama State University and presented songs of Jacqueline Hairston at Grace Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas. He also provided the foreword for Jacqueline Hairston's Anthology, Songs and Spirituals by Jacqueline Hairston, Vol.1. He recently was invited to perform in an alum recital at the University of California, Irvine, and was a featured soloist at Los Medanos College in their Choral/Vocal Concert.
As a church musician, he has held music director positions at Beebe Memorial Cathedral, C.M.E. ( Oakland, CA), Beth Eden Baptist Church (Oakland, CA), Saint John Missionary Baptist Church (Long Beach, CA), St. Patrick Catholic Church (Oakland,CA) Greater El Bethel (Richmond, CA), and Reigning Life Fellowship (Long Beach, CA) as well as supportive roles with the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor, Holy Trinity A.M.E. (Las Vegas), Christ Our Redeemer, A.M.E. (Irvine, CA). and at St. Columba (Oakland, CA). He is currently a pianist at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church.
As a teacher, Dr. Harris' students have won 1st place in local National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions where he has also been a voice adjudicator as well as a guest adjudicator at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School for the Arts. His students have been accepted to and attend Boston Conservatory at Berkelee and Columbia College Chicago. His students sing leading roles with the Young Musical Theater Company (Berkeley, CA) and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He has taught at the Apsen Music Festival (Passes and Lessons Program), University of Nevada, Las Vegas, The Young Musicians Program ( UC Berkeley), Convent & Stuart Hall, Family Music Centers, Saint Leo the Great School, Bay Area Academy of Music, Vibo Music School, Dexter Music Academy and the Orchepia School of Music. He has also been a voice instructor at music workshops associated with Beth Eden Baptist Church, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choirs and a presenter and lecturer on spirituals at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church of Berkeley.
The music director of the youth division of San Francisco's Moonschool last summer and the former assistant director of the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir, he is the Vocal Music Director at Head-Royce School .