Associate Professor of Music
Phillip A. Swan is Co-Director of Choral Studies and Musical Director for LU Musicals. Swan co-directs Cantala (Lawrence University Women’s Choir - invited to sing at the 2006 North Central ACDA convention in Omaha, NE and the 2011 National ACDA conference in Chicago, IL) and Concert Choir, directs the Lawrence Hybrid Ensemble (jazz, early, contemporary and world music); teaches courses in conducting, musical theatre and music education; supervises student teachers and coaches student organized a cappella groups. He is also active in the Appleton community, serving as choir director at Appleton Alliance Church, and Artistic Director and Conductor for the community choir, newVoices. Swan received his BA in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, MM in Choral Conducting from UT El Paso, and has completed all coursework for the DMA in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami (Florida). His doctoral essay is focused on the choral works of Eric Whitacre.
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 (non-auditioned freshman chorus), Concert Choir (non-auditioned 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 the spring musicals. Swan was also actively involved in the Watertown community as musical director of an auditioned community choir (Kampeska Chorale), Town Players (musical theater productions of Fiddler On The Roof and Camelot), and for nine years served as music director for Ninth Avenue United Methodist Church, directing both the sanctuary choir and praise team. Mr. Swan was also very involved in the South Dakota chapter of the American Choral Directors Association with involvements as the Vocal Jazz Repertory and Standards Chair, South Dakota 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 Chairman. While pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts 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.
In June 2011, he was honored to receive the Lawrence University Award for Excellence in Creative Activity. Established in 2006, the award recognizes outstanding creative work for advancing Lawrence’s mission. Swan was invited to contribute to a new book, Conducting Women's Choirs, published by GIA in October 2012. His chapter is titled, "The Y Factor in an X Chromosome World." In May 2008, Swan was honored to be selected by the LU student body as the recipient of the Mrs. H. K. Babcock Award. (The award is given to an individual from the Lawrence community, who through involvement and interaction with students has made a positive impact on the campus community.) Other awards include the South Dakota ACDA Encore Award (outstanding young choral director), Outstanding Young Men of America, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, the 1997 Northwestern University Summer Fellows Program, Alpha Epsilon Lambda (graduate honor society) and Pi Kappa Lambda (collegiate national music honor society). In March 2001, Swan was selected as one of four national finalists for the graduate choral conducting competition at the ACDA National Convention in San Antonio. Swan is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (serving as the Wisconsin Women’s Choirs R & S chair), the College Music Society, and Chorus America.
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