Exquisite, bright, healing, interesting, simple, challenging, peaceful – words which describe the music of Carol Crowder Phillips. Melodies that tell a story; harmonies that vary from simple to complex; tonal colors that evoke ancient music, and yet are modern – all blend to present timeless, spiritual ideas through contemporary music of a unique style and quality. Solo and accompaniment become a duet, providing each musician with opportunities for musical and inspirational expression. Words and music become a dance, as they are skillfully and artistically interwoven. This union of music and text provide insight and transparency, musical and spiritual development.
Carol Crowder Phillips was raised in a musical family, and began playing the piano and composing at a very early age, and playing the violin at age 6. She began teaching piano at the age of 12, and violin soon after. She earned a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree from Oklahoma State University; taught music in Nairobi, Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer; and has worked professionally as a violinist, pianist, organist, and singer. In 2005, she added the kinnor—a 10-string harp (a King David’s Harp)—to her instruments of performance and composition.
Carol has studied composition with Evan Tonsing (Oklahoma State University:1977); attended a master class with Aaron Copland (University of Oklahoma: 1977); James Schlater (Mississippi College: 1983); Craig Steven Shuler (private lessons: 2010); R&B singer/songwriter, Rudy C. Love (2010); and Alice Parker (Composer’s Workshop, Hawley, MA: 2012).
In 2010 she was one of three winners of the a cappella Psalm composition contest for Ascending Voice II, an international symposium of sacred a cappella music, at Pepperdine University, in Malibu, California.
In 2008 she took the course: The Geographical and Historical Settings of the Bible at Jerusalem University College in Israel; and in 2011 studied Ethnodoxology at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
She has two Psalms (hymns) in the Volume Two Hymnal: God Enthroned Forever: Timeless: Ancient Psalms for the Church Today: Abilene Christian University Press (copyright 2016).
Her compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Kenya. Her compositions are influenced by a wide diversity of musical and cultural experiences. The majority of her work is setting scripture and spiritual texts to music. She has also composed for a variety of solo instruments, small ensembles, big band, and choirs.
Carol currently lives and composes in Vancouver, WA, bringing scripture and poetry to life in song.
“The marriage of the Psalms with Carol’s writing of the music is healing.”
- Amy Claire de Cola, soloist and teacher - Garland, Texas
“How wonderful to have these new beautiful and moving renditions of sacred scripture and text. I love the fresh new sacred sounds and the music lingers in my soul long after the service. I eagerly await these treasures each week.”
- Debbie Allen, soloist - Garland, Texas
“Carol’s music is inspiring and up lifting. I especially love her music arrangements of the Psalms and other inspired passages, both from the Bible, and other spiritual writings. It brings me joy every time I hear it.”
- Scott Faunt - Portland, OR
“It is a pleasure to hear your most beautiful music which you play on our church piano. It is appropriate for the occasion, rhythmic, joyous, and ever explores fresh melodies. I am grateful to hear you play your original music. It is a privilege to hear.”
- Scott Putnam - Portland, OR
“This week's responsive reading has some of Psalm 139, and I've got to tell you that I feel so intimately connected with this psalm after hearing you sing it last Sunday!”
- John Shaw - Vancouver, WA
“Carol's poem songs take me inside the feeling and perspective of the poet in an immediate way. She perfectly fits the thoughts, emotions and passions of a poem into an expressive and beautiful experience that often brings me to tears.”
- Susan Shaw - Vancouver, WA
"As an artist and producer, working with Carol’s compositions is a very rewarding experience…to experience the courageousness of her pioneering and intensely and inspirational compositions keep me creatively excited, and I love it!"
- Rudy Love, singer/songwriter - Wichita, Kansas
“Carol is an intrepid musical explorer bound by no specific genre. Her expressive personality shines through an eclectic style spectrum.
She delivers the essence of her subject in a visceral, emotional way compelling the listener to join the journey.”
- John Salem, musician, sound engineer - Wichita, Kansas
"The music was wonderful and felt like a long drink of water to a thirsty soul!"
- Beth Dutson - Portland, OR
"Carol Phillips is a brilliant composer whose music is, to me, reminiscent of that of John Rutter, renowned 20th Century English composer: ageless, powerful, awe-inspiring. Carol has the ability to bring the music to life in an incredible and inspirational listening experience that nourishes the hungry soul."
- Carolyn Kardinal, composer/lyricist - Gresham, OR