Contact: Julie Ray, Communications Consultant, (520) 891-8098

DATE: August 20, 2019

Arizona Repertory Singers announce new music director, native Tucsonan, Ryan Phillips

TUCSON, AZ—The Arizona Repertory Singers is pleased to introduce its new music director, Ryan Phillips, M.M.

“After a nationwide search, we are delighted to have found what we were looking for right here in Tucson,” said Ken Rosenblatt, President of ARS. “Ryan Phillips is a rising star in the classical music scene of this city – his youth, energy, and prodigious talent will thrill our Tucson audiences.”

Phillips said he is delighted to return to the city that shaped him as a musician.

“It’s so nice to be back in Tucson,” Phillips said. “I grew up here, and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the Tucson musical community. So many of my friends and mentors are here.”

Long before Phillips earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University and developed his love of conducting while at the University of Arizona, he sang in the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus.

“Performing around Tucson, outside of school hours, was a standard routine of my childhood for seven years,” Phillips said. He fondly remembers holiday concerts at San Xavier mission, a performance with Linda Ronstadt, and touring South Africa with the Chorus.

“The Tucson Boys Chorus was a foundation of my musical education. It was where I first learned to represent and serve my community as a musician and a leader,” Phillips said.

While still in college and as a recent college graduate, Phillips served as assistant director of two Tucson community choruses, The Tucson Masterworks Chorale and the Helios Ensemble. Phillips also worked as music director at the Academy of Tucson High School and choir director at Holy Way Presbyterian Church.

While a graduate student at NAU, Phillips directed the Harold M. Harter Memorial Handbell Choir and NAU Chamber Singers.

“Ryan is an expressive conductor,” said Edith Copley, NAU Regents’ Professor in the school of music. “He honors the music, connects with the audience, and truly cares about the people in his ensemble.”

“I’m honored and grateful to get to work with this dedicated group of passionate singers who want to enrich their lives and the lives of our audiences with beautiful music,” commented Phillips.

Phillips said he looks forward to welcoming new members to the ensemble. “Auditions are ongoing. Our talented, volunteer singers take great joy and pride in making something beautiful together. Come join us.”

For its winter concerts ARS will bring back a few pieces from its traditional repertoire, and also perform new, rollicking, arrangements of holiday favorites, Phillips said.

“Our Spring program will explore the relationship we have with one another and our world, including connections in faith, music, and love,” Phillips said. “Audiences will hear classics by Purcell, Brahms, Finzi, and Vaughan Williams alongside the work of William Billings, a mid-20th century American spiritual, a traditional Xhosa song, a Basque hymn, and a great arrangement of an anthem by Dolly Parton.”

Dolly Parton? “Yes, you heard that right,” Phillips said laughing. “It’s going to be a fun and beautiful year of music at ARS concerts.”

The Arizona Repertory Singers is an auditioned ensemble of singers from greater Tucson. Since 1984 this choir has developed an extensive repertory and prides itself on presenting high quality performances of the standard repertoire and new music. Our community of singers, selected through a rigorous audition process, represent a variety of work life careers in business, education, engineering, information technology, law, medicine, social service, science and the arts.