Biographical information

Sheena Phillips (b. 1958) is a composer and choral director now based in Columbus, Ohio.


Sheena grew up in London and studied mathematics at Cambridge University. She worked for 10 years doing research and information work for organizations including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Friends of the Earth (Scotland), but gradually developed a new career in music, starting as founding director of the award-winning Rudsambee Company of Singers in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2000, she moved to Columbus, Ohio with her family, where she directed community, church and college choirs. From 2014 - 2022 she lived in London, directing the Belsize Community Choir and the Michael Singers at UCL. Now back in Columbus, she is working as artistic director of the Magpie Consort, assistant director and accompanist for the Columbus Women’s Chorus, and director of the Cardinal Singers at Otterbein University.

Sheena has been commissioned and/or performed by numerous groups on both sides of the Atlantic (and further afield) including the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Columbus Public Art (Ohio), the St Magnus International Festival, the Choral Project (San Jose, California), Juice Vocal Ensemble, Voices of Ascension (NYC), the Peninsula Women’s Chorus (California), Chicago A Cappella, the Lancaster Chorale (Ohio), Seattle Pro Musica, Calliope Women's Chorus (Minnesota), Amasong, Anima Children's Chorus (Chicago), Cappella Nova (Scotland), the Dunedin Consort (Scotland), the Columbus Women's Chorus, the Columbus Children's Choir and the Magpie Consort.

Sheena studies composition privately with Emily Doolittle (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). She has also taken a wide range of short but inspiring courses with Alice Parker, Alasdair Nicolson, Steven Sametz, Steve Stucky, James Weeks and others.


Thirty or so of Sheena's choral pieces are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Earthsongs, Lorenz, Novello, Santa Barbara Music Press and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.  Many of her shorter compositions and folk song arrangements are published by Canasg Music Publishing (of which she is editor).   PDF perusal copies of numerous unpublished compositions are available on request by email to sheenaphillips[at]   


Awards for composing include finalist in the 2014 American Prize for Choral Composition, third prize in the 2013 Sorel Medallion Prize for Choral Composition, winner of the 2013 Cambiata Composition Initiative sponsored by the University of North Texas, and winner of the 2012 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest run by VocalEssence (Minneapolis) and the American Composers Forum.


Sheena is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), CoMA Glasgow and PRS for Music.


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