Harvey Phillips Memorial Scholarship
Harvey Phillips was born in 1929, the youngest of 10 children, in Aurora, Missouri. After graduating from high school, Phillips worked a summer job playing tuba with the King Bros. Circus. Although he left to attend the University of Missouri, Phillips quickly went back to playing tuba for another circus, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He spent the next three years with the Ringling band.
It was during a circus trip in New York that he met the tuba player of the New York Philharmonic, William Bell. Soon after, Bell arranged for Phillips to study with him at the Juilliard School. After spending two years in the United States Army Field Band, Phillips returned to New York and became a successful freelancer, playing with the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet orchestras.
In New York, Phillips formed the New York Brass Quintet, helping the brass quintet genre and instrumentation expand. He also inspired what is known as TubaChristmas, a concert performed by musicians who play instruments in the tuba family, held in the ice skating rink in New York City's Rockefeller Center. It was initially organized as a tribute to his teacher, William Bell, but has continued to inspire other TubaChristmases throughout cities worldwide.
Known for his entrepreneurial abilities and spirit, Phillips served as the orchestra contractor for Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, Gunther Schuller, and others. He also served as vice president for financial affairs at the New England Conservatory when Schuller became president. Phillips also contributed to the formation of the International Tuba Euphonium Association. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, as the only wind player to receive the honor.
Phillips joined the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music in 1971, and was a Distinguished Professor of Tuba until his retirement in 1994. He dedicated his life to the study and promotion of the tuba, and was recognized for his efforts by the IU President Michael McRobbie with the President's Medal for Excellence in 2008.
The Harvey Phillips Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Harvey Phillips by his friends, family, and colleagues. The Jacobs School of Music is honored to award the Harvey Phillips Memorial Scholarship to undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in tuba at the Jacobs School.