Biographical information


Sheena Phillips (b. 1958) is a composer and arranger, chiefly of choral and chamber music, now based in London after 15 years living and working in the USA. She is also an experienced choral director, song-leader and teacher, currently directing Belsize Community Choir and the Michael Singers choir in the Maths Department of University College London.


Sheena grew up in London and studied mathematics at Cambridge University. She worked for 10 years doing publicity 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, Sheena moved to Columbus, Ohio with her family, where she directed community, church and college choirs and numerous collaborations with dancers and instrumentalists. She served as the Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs in the Ohio Choral Directors Association from 2007 - 2011.

As a composer, Sheena is largely self-taught but has studied with Alice Parker, Steven Sametz, Steve Stucky, Alasdair Nicolson and (ongoing) with Emily Doolittle. She 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, Columbus Public Art (Ohio), the St Magnus International Festival, the Choral Project (San Jose, California), the New Amsterdam Singers (NYC), 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), the University of Alabama (Birmingham) Concert Choir, Cappella Nova (Scotland), the Dunedin Consort (Scotland), the Columbus Women's Chorus, the Columbus Children's Choir, the Magpie Consort, and many others.


Many of Sheena's shorter compositions and folk song arrangements are published by Canasg Music Publishing (of which she is editor).   She is also published by Boosey & Hawkes, Earthsongs, Lorenz, Novello, Santa Barbara Music Press, and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.  PDF perusal copies of any of the unpublished compositions are available on request by email to sheenaphillips[at]   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, and winner of the 2012 Welcome Christmas Carol Contest run by VocalEssence (Minneapolis) and the American Composers Forum.


Sheena is a member of the Association of British Choral Directors, the American Choral Directors Association, the American Composers Forum, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and PRS for Music.