Phil Sims studied music at the undergraduate and graduate level at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He has held academic appointments to teach theory, musicianship, composition, and electronic music at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Rochester, Mercer University, and Emory University. In recent years, Phil’s creative work has mainly focused on the creation of albums and sound design scores using a mix of acoustic and virtual instruments.
His compositions have been performed and presented throughout the country and in Europe, in both academic and community venues, most recently at the Schwartz Center on the Emory University campus, the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech, the Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education, Eyedrum, during the 2010 Dodekapus Art Collective Carnival, the 2010 L5P Halloween Festival (in collaboration with gloATL lab), and more. His intellectual and academic essays have focused on theoretical and pedagogical issues ranging from integrated and experiential instruction to sociopolitical topics like musical rhetoric, the politics of beauty, modes of listening, the apparent impact of art as commodity, and the practice of aesthetic apartheid within academic departments and curricula.
Phil began lecturing in music theory over 20 years ago at the Eastman School, at the age of 22; while at Eastman, he won both the School’s graduate student teaching award and the University of Rochester’s Edward Curtis Peck Award for excellence in undergraduate instruction. In addition to pursuing inspired, effective teaching from an academic platform, Phil has also collaborated in a variety of music and education projects with organizations like the Atlanta Ballet, FOCUS (Families of Children Under Stress), the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the American Composers Forum, the Atlanta Union Mission, the Atlanta Girls’ School, and the Montessori School at Emory, to name a few. Founding and Directing the Music Center represents both the culmination of his career to date and an exciting set of new opportunities for Phil to teach and create from a completely independent platform. It was also the fulfillment of a long held dream he shared with co-Founder and Director, Diana Orozco, and one of the ways Phil marked his 40th birthday.
Phil's educational ideas and methods impact all Atlanta Music High and CMC Atlanta students through the Administrative role he plays in designing and implementing CMC programs and curricula. His private composition students have enrolled in collegiate composition and sound programs around the country after their high school graduation, including a recent graduate who enrolled to study with Pulitzer Prize winning composers in New York City and others sent to study sound design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.