Director of Opera Workshop
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Phyllis Lewis–Hale is a lyric soprano in great demand. She has performed in Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Bermuda and throughout the United States. Some highlights in her career include receiving several awards, such as the recipient of the 2011 Mississippi Humanities Teacher and Scholar Award, the recipient of a HBCU-SAFRA Title III Project Grant in 2011 and 2012 from the University Scholars Center for Undergraduate Research, the winner of the IBLA Grand Prize in the International “Monteverdi/Bellini” Vocal Competition held in Italy, a winner in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Vocal Competition held in New York and the recipient of an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards. Ms. Lewis-Hale recorded the “Songs of Separation” of William Grant Still for WGUC Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is currently an Instructor of Music and the Director of the Opera /Musical Theatre Workshop at Jackson State University. She has served as a director of opera for various programs for the last twelve years. She has staged productions for Opera/South of Jackson, the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Lewis-Hale has appeared with major opera companies and symphony orchestras across the United States, such as the Phoenix Symphony, the Greenville Symphony, the Little Orchestra Society of New York, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Bermuda Philharmonic, the Johnson City Orchestra and the Meridian Symphony. Some concert appearances include a concert at the Marasco Villa in Florence, Italy, the Ibla Piazza Pola in Italy, the Nagaragawa Convention Center in Gifu Japan, the Taipei City Cultural Center in Taipei City, Taiwan, the Mannes College of Music, the Greenwich House School of Music, the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at New York University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, Montgomery County Community College Science Center Auditorium, Lincoln Hall for the Union League of Philadelphia’s Gala Banquet honoring Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has performed the Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at the Kimmel Center of the Performing Arts of Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Young Artist Orchestra, a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus with the Choral Society of Montgomery County, Pennsylvannia, a concert performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Alabama Symphony, and a premiere concert reading of the opera, Harriet Tubman, by Leo Edwards at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Arts’ Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and the Schomburg Center in Harlem. Ms. Lewis-Hale has appeared in leading roles with opera companies such as Indianapolis Opera, Opera Memphis, the Houston Ebony Opera, the Opera North Company of Philadelphia, Opera Ebony of New York, the Opera/South Company of Jackson and the Brevard Music Center Opera Theater of North Carolina. She has also served as Artist-in Residence at the International School of Performing Arts’ Opera Festival held in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Lewis-Hale has served two terms as the President of the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and she is currently the Vocal Area Chair of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (MMTA). Ms. Lewis-Hale is serving her first term as District Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing for the state of Mississippi. She has served on the Mississippi Girl Choir Board and she has served as an adjudicator for the ACT-SO competition, Mississippi School of the Arts, MMTA and NATS organizations. Ms. Lewis-Hale’s research interests include the preservation and popularization of the African-American non-spiritual art song, African-American operas and the Negro spiritual. She has presented lecture-recitals in venues across the country including the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Super Regional Conference of the College Music Society held in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as, the College Music Society’s National Conferences held in Atlanta, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. She recently presented a lecture-recital focusing on the “Preservation of the African-American Art Song” at the National Association of African-American Studies National Conference which was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Ms. Lewis-Hale received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Jackson State University and the Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.