Bob Phillips (B. 1953), pedagogue, composer, teacher trainer, and conductor, is renowned as an innovator in string education. Bob brings a wealth of knowledge and a sense of humor to his clinics, drawn from his 27 years as a public school string teacher. He is an expert in the use of large group pedagogy and in the development of alternative styles for strings. One of today's leading educational authors and composers, his books and pieces are performed by thousands of string students each year. Currently Bob is the Director of String Publications for Alfred Music. He has served as president of the American String Teachers Association and, in 2013 Bob was inducted into the University of Michigan School of Music Hall of Fame. Bob and his wife, Pam, are also part of the creative team for Barrage 8.
Bob has authored over 19 book series that include 130 books for use in the classroom including the ground breaking series of books Fiddlers Philharmonic, Fiddlers Philharmonic Encore!, Jazz Philharmonic, Jazz Philharmonic: Second Set and Latin Philharmonic, the String Explorer method books, and the revolutionary Sound Innovations method series, all published by Alfred Music. He has had over 140 works published for orchestras and bands and is an award winning ASCAP composer.
In Saline, MI, Bob built a string program with over 700 students that is a national model of excellence in both classical and alternative music. After leaving Saline, Bob began a new string program in Tecumseh, MI. Bob's groups have performed at national and state conferences and including the Midwest Clinic. He founded the nationally renowned folk-fiddling ensemble, Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, which under his direction gained an international reputation annually performing more than 75 shows. Bob has served as conductor for a variety of youth symphonies, all-state and honors orchestras and camps including the All-State Orchestra at Interlochen, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Orchestras, Oakland Youth Orchestra, the Georgia All-State, the Kentucky All-State, South Carolina All-State, Tennessee All-State and the Queensland Honour Ensemble Program.
As a graduate of the University of Michigan with both Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music Education, Phillips studied with Lawrence Hurst, Elizabeth Green and Bob Culver. Bob's students have been successful as string educators, as well as professional performers in both classical and alternative styles. He has been elected "Teacher of the Year" nine times by national, state, and regional associations and has been invited to present clinics in more than forty states and eight foreign countries. He has done educational tours in most major cities of Australia eight times. Recognized as Citizens of the Year by the City of Saline for their work in arts education, Bob and Pam were also honored in special ceremonies by both the House and the Senate of the State of Michigan for their in string education. In 2013 Bob was inducted into the University of Michigan School of Music Hall of Fame.
Pam Phillips, (B. 1953) has a broad background in arts management and production. Her career includes booking and producing concerts for professional artists as well as school groups. She has administered numerous music camps and planned national and international music tours. Pam has run teacher workshops throughout the United States and has presented at a variety of music conferences. ASTA choose her as their national conference coordinator for the 2007 convention in Detroit. She has served as an assistant teacher in the elementary string classroom. In her role as a music producer and editor she has worked on production of instructional DVDs and audio CDs as well hundreds of orchestra pieces and instructional books. Her current position as Managing Editor, Suzuki and String Acquisition for Alfred Music uses many aspects of this varied career. Pam has also been the project coordinator for Alfred’s revolutionary new method Sound Innovations for String Orchestra and Sound Innovations for Concert Band.
Pam graduated from the University of Michigan and then ran a successful business for many years. With Mary Kay Cosmetics she reached the level of Team Manager earning the use of three cars. This experience in sales, training, and motivation became part of all future musical and educational endeavors. After spending these years in business and raising three musicians, Pam turned her full time energies to the arts. Pam served as arts administrator for the performing ensemble, Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic in Saline, MI, for the first eight years after the group’s founding. She assisted Bob in founding a new string program in Tecumseh, MI planning advocacy, interface with parents, classroom activities and assembling a ten-year plan for the new program. Pam is responsible for the development, marketing and organization of the Phillips Family Fiddle Camps, which ran successfully from 1997-2000 reaching over 500 students. An earlier collaboration with Barrage resulted in the well-received Siring Alternatives Workshops for teachers. Pam has assisted in the graphic design and development of the Fiddlers Philharmonic, Jazz Philharmonic, String Alternative and String Explorer series for Alfred Publishing. Pam served as producer, editor, writer and graphic artist for the DVD series, String Clinics to Go: The Art of Recruiting, Getting Started, and Intermediate Skills distributed by Shar Products. Recognized as Citizens of the Year by the City of Saline for their work in arts education, Bob and Pam were also honored in special ceremonies by both the House and the Senate of the State of Michigan for their work with the Saline Fiddlers. They have three daughters who are all teachers. Two are orchestra directors and one a math teacher. Following this theme, the three sons-in-law include a band director, a French teacher, and a church worship leader. The nine grandchildren all have small size instruments of various sorts.