• Phillip Thomas
    Phillip Thomas,
    Professor of Music,
    Chairperson of Musicianship

    B.A., Lee College
    M.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music
    Ph.D., University of Cincinnati
    Email: pthomas@leeuniversity.edu

    Phillip Thomas is an educator, performer, and university administrator with a variety of scholarly interests. A year after graduating summa cum laude from Lee College (now Lee University), he completed the master’s degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory; his major teachers were George Walker and Julio Esteban. Thomas later completed the Ph.D. degree in Music History from the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, where he was the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship and an assistantship in Music Theory. His dissertation was entitled Music for One or More Alternately Tuned Acoustic Pianos, 1920-1993: Trends in Melody, Harmony, and Technique. While there, he studied harpsichord with Eiji Hashimoto, a noted performer, conductor, and editor.

    Thomas has served as adjudicator for a variety of competitions on the local, regional, and international levels. His students often receive the highest ratings; some have won their respective divisions. Thomas is listed in the Who’s Who Among American Teachers and is a member of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and Historical Keyboard Society of North America.

    In 1996, Thomas established Lee University’s Chamber Orchestra, after serving as founding conductor of a community string orchestra for several years. He studied conducting at the Institute Provençe-Aubagne in France with Yves Cohen, a student of Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Thomas led the ensemble in performances of masterworks, light classics, and other genres; a study tour to Germany and Austria; and a two recording projects. In the same period, Thomas began serving as a department chair in the School of Music at Lee, a post he still holds. It boasts a highly-qualified faculty of some 20 members, who teach courses in music theory and history, church music, and music business.

    Previously, Thomas had a long tenure as keyboardist for the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. He also served as board member for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and Chattanooga Youth Symphony. Thomas was also selected to review several college textbooks, including the second edition of Douglass Seaton’s Ideas and Styles in the Western Musical Tradition, published by McGraw-Hill. For many years, he was staff pianist for the Mount Paran North Church of God just outside Atlanta, Ga.

    Most recently, Thomas has studied with harpsichordist Arthur Haas, a performer and recording artist, who teaches in the Early Music Program at The Julliard School. Thomas lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, with his wife Dale, a talented soprano and music educator. They have one daughter, Shannon, a professional violinist and university professor.

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