Phillip Harris is an active singer, teacher, church musician, recording artist, author, and music scholar who possesses skills in a variety of areas. He made his Carnegie Hall (Mid America Productions) debut with Jacqueline Hairston 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, and as a soloist at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center singing on a concert honoring prolific spiritual arrangers, Jacqueline Hairston, Roland Carter, and Lena McLin. As a soloist, he has also performed with 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 a recital at his alma mater, the University of California , Irvine.
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 debut 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. Highlights include the title role in Don Giovanni, Schaunard and Marcello in La Bohéme, and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus.
Oratorio performances include 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. In February, he presented a lecture, masterclass , and recital on the music of Black American Composers at Alabama State University. Last fall, he presented songs of Jacqueline Hairston at Grace Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas.
As a church musician, he has held music director positions at 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), and Christ Our Redeemer, A.M.E. (Irvine, CA). and at St. Columba in Oakland.
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. He 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.
He is the music director at Beebe Memorial C.M.E. Cathedral and the vocal music director at Head Royce. In the fall he will sing with the San Francisco Opera Chorus in the productions of Billy Budd.