Michael Phillips, Maryville, was recognized by Missouri Lt. Governor Michael L. Parson for his dedication and volunteerism with the Nodaway Chorale on April 24.
Nominated by Brian and Cecily Lanier, Phillips traveled to Jefferson City to receive one of 60 Lt. Governor’s Senior Service Awards. He also received a resolution from Missouri House of Representatives and District One Representative Allen Andrews and a letter of congratulations from Governor Eric Greitens.
“Being one of the 60 recipients for the Lt. Governor’s Senior citizen award is truly a highlight in my long musical life that has involved many years of church music programs, professional singing engagements as an opera singer as well as conducting operas,” Phillips said. “During the events at the state house in Jefferson City, I met some extraordinary seniors whose accomplishments in volunteer work left me humbled and amazed.”
“Having worked with Mike as the accompanist for the Nodaway Chorale,” Cecily Lanier said, “I realized how much ‘heart and soul’ he puts into this organization. He truly believes that Nodaway County needs this artistic form of expression. He has created an organization not only of talented singers, but an organization that cares about each individual performer.”
The Nodaway Chorale was formed in 2006 and has two to three performances a year. Phillips was originally approached about working with the chorale after he conducted a community Christmas program in 2004.
“I respectfully declined at the time but when the same people approached me again the following Christmas of 2005, I felt the commitment was strong enough to make the effort to start a community chorus,” he said.
“I know my life as a musician is so enriched by having the experience of this dedicated group that I sometimes feel guilty when the accolades are directed at me,” Phillips explained. “Without these dedicated people, there is no chorale.”
Phillips described his experience with the chorale as a labor of love. Of the 30 original members, seven are still active. The chorale is made up of a cross section of Nodaway County including seniors, college students, university faculty and staff and community members.
At 3 pm, Sunday, May 7, the Nodaway Chorale will present a concert of music by Mozart and Gabriele Fauré at Conception Abbey with a small instrumental ensemble, the magnificent Basilica organ and a children’s chorus from Jefferson C-123.
The concert is free to the public although tax deductible donations will be accepted and appreciated. A reception will be provided for the participants and audience by the monks of Conception Abbey following the concert.