Associate Professor of Music
Phillip A. Swan is Co-Director of Choral Studies and Musical Director for LU Musicals. Swan co-directs Cantala and Concert Choir, directs Hybrid Ensemble (jazz, early, contemporary and world music); teaches courses in conducting, musical theatre and music education; and coaches student organized a cappella groups. He is active in the Appleton community, serving as artistic director and conductor for newVoices and is choir director at Appleton Alliance Church. Swan received his BA in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, MM in Choral Conducting from UT El Paso, and the DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami (Florida). His doctoral essay is entitled, "In His Own Words: The Choral Music of Eric Whitacre from 1991-2004."
Swan served as a church music and youth director, performed in El Paso Pro Musica and taught elementary general music in El Paso, Texas, before moving to Watertown, South Dakota in 1989, where he taught high school vocal music for ten years and was an active clinician and adjudicator. His duties at Watertown High School included: fine arts department chair, Bel Canto Singers (freshman chorus), Concert Choir (grade 10-12 chorus), Meistersingers (auditioned grade 11-12 chorus, who performed twice at the South Dakota Teacher Inservice), private voice lessons, two auditioned show choirs, and director for five spring musicals. Swan was also actively involved in the Watertown community as musical director for Kampeska Chorale and Town Players, and for nine years served as music director for Ninth Avenue United Methodist Church, directing both the sanctuary choir and praise team. Swan was also very involved in South Dakota ACDA with involvements as the vocal jazz repertory and standards chair, SD-ACDA newsletter editor, co-chair for the 1999 SD Summer Conference, registration co-chair for the 1994 ACDA North Central Division Convention, tenor section leader for the 1993 and 1995 SD Honors Choir and interim senior high school repertory and standards chair. While pursuing his DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami, Swan served as senior graduate teaching assistant for Jo-Michael Scheibe in the choral studies program, was director of the University Women’s Chorale, sang in numerous ensembles (including the prestigious University Chorale and Jazz Vocal 1) and served as assistant director of music ministries at Coral Gables Congregational Church.
Swan has conducted Cantala in performances at the 2006 NC-ACDA conference in Omaha, the 2011 National ACDA conference in Dallas, and Cantala and Concert Choir at the 2014 NC-ACDA conference in Des Moines. He was privileged to be included as a chapter author in the 2012 GIA book, “Conducting Women’s Choirs”. Swan has been fortunate to work with international choirs; conducting the seventh annual Festival of Choirs in Muscat, Oman in 2010 and was selected for the International Conductor Exchange Program; giving two lectures and conducting in a Regional Concert for the China Choral Association (Guangdong Provence), and working with 15 choirs in Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Donguang, and Shenzhen, China in June 2014. Awards include the 2016 Morris D. Hayes Award (established in 1985 by the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association, it is reserved for those of outstanding merit who have shown a commitment to choral music, served the art and have made outstanding contributions to choral music in Wisconsin), the 2011 Lawrence Award for Excellence in Creative Activity, the 2008 Mrs. H. K. Babcock Award (given to an individual from the Lawrence community, who through involvement and interaction with students has made a positive impact on the campus community), South Dakota ACDA Encore Award, Outstanding Young Men of America, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, 1997 Northwestern University Summer Fellow, 2001 National ACDA graduate conducting competition finalist – San Antonio, Alpha Epsilon Lambda (graduate honor society) and Pi Kappa Lambda (collegiate national music honor society). Swan is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, serving as the North Central ACDA Women’s Choir R&S Chair, the serving the state organization as Women’s Choir R & S Chair, was program chair for the 2013 state conference, a member of the state by-laws revision committee, a member of the summer Refresh! planning committee, and serving on the teaching staff for the WCDA 2014 Next Direction. Swan is also a member of the College Music Society and Chorus America.
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