Lewis-2935Dr. Anne Lewis,
Professor of Music

Email: anne.lewis@averett.edu
Phone: 434-791-5644
Office: Grousbeck

“The music students at Averett,” says Dr. Anne Lewis, “have big dreams. And they should. But sometimes, they come to us with very few of the tools needed to make those dreams a reality. So that’s what we do — we help them create the necessary tools for their dreams.”

She adds that all of the faculty members do that: “There is a deep commitment to the students; we do everything we can to help them succeed. Actually, the faculty members are very involved in campus life — they come to our music performances, they go to shows by the Theatre Department, they follow the athletic teams, they work with the various students clubs and go to honors presentations … they even serve midnight breakfast during exams.”

Lewis still performs professionally, singing in the Bel Canto Company based in Greensboro, N.C., but she declares firmly, “Averett is home for me.” She explains that although she had planned to be a professional coach and/or accompanist somewhere, “after one year of teaching here, I realized that I love sharing a sense of discovery with students. This is where I want to be.”

That discovery process is one she clearly embraces, and sometimes she does so in unusual ways. “Yes,” she admits, “I have had students juggle and sing at the same time. It’s just one way to get them into the moment, to stop them from thinking about all that might go wrong and simply try to handle the immediate tasks. I also have them sing upside down.”  What? “Oh, yes. Try it. If you’re singing upside down, you’ll see that it takes away any inhibitions, plus it gets you to breathe better. It actually allows the tone to fall out of the top of your head.”

Lewis is also big on movement: “Another teaching tool. If they’re moving, they’re more relaxed. Performing calls for a relaxed state of alertness. You can’t perform well if you’re not relaxed.”  Pointing her students in the right direction, giving them the tools to succeed, watching them make it happen: “That’s why one keeps teaching,” she says. “It’s so wonderful when they acquire the skills, and you see it happen.”

Credentials:

Doctorate in Music Arts, Conducting, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Master of Music, Music History and Literature, Baylor University

Bachelor of Music, Piano Pedagogy major, Vocal minor, Baylor University

Experience:

20+ years teaching Music

Expertise:

Piano Literature, Musical Theatre, 20th Century American Music, Early 20th Century Gender Roles and Stereotypes

Community Involvement, Volunteer Activities and Professional Affiliations:

Mu Phi Epsilon, music honor society, Averett Faculty Advisor

Music Teachers National Association, national certification

American Choral Directors Association College Music Society

Worship coordinator/leader, evangelical services at Interlochen Arts Camp, Michigan

Music and Worship Committee, Woodmont Methodist Church

Substitute Choir Director, pianist, and handbell player, Woodmont Methodist Church

Vocal coach and private piano teacher, Conductor & collaborative artist

 

Dr. Janet Phillips,
Assistant Professor of Music

Email: jwphillips@averett.edu
Phone: 434-791-5715
Office: Grousbeck

Dr. Janet Phillips grew up playing flute in the band and orchestra programs of the Danville Public Schools. In the 8th grade she was inspired by her idol, Ronnie Milsap, to take up music as her career of choice. She enjoys the opportunity to make a musical difference in her hometown. “I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives with music the way he did for me and so many others,” Phillips said. “Teaching and performing offers the best of two worlds. Performing makes me a better teacher, and teaching makes me a better performer.”

Phillips taught as an adjunct professor at Averett for six years before joining the University full time in August 2015. In addition to teaching music courses and private instrumental lessons, she is spearheading two brand new programs at Averett. One is an early childhood music education initiative called Growing Up Musically (GUM). Its purpose is to bring more music into the lives of young children. “You can’t start music experience and training too early. Music increases brain development in young children and helps them to fare better in numerous other areas, including academics, social and emotional development,” said Phillips.

Phillips is also director of the Averett University Cougar Band – an ensemble comprised of winds, brass, percussion and even some strings. She is happy to be able to continue the band experience with her college students. Current ensemble options include Concert Band, Pep Band, Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensembles. “When band students choose Averett University, they will have the opportunity now to continue to play their instruments in large ensemble, chamber groups or solo settings,” said Phillips.

Of music, Phillips speaks with passion and unbounded enthusiasm. “Music is the gift that lasts a lifetime. We age out of the ability to play certain sports. We never get too old to play music. And music is with us all the time. Can you imagine going for 24 hours without hearing music? It would be virtually impossible. Music is in our DNA as humans and vital to our existence. I love being able to share music with my students and colleagues every day,” said Phillips.

Credentials:

Doctor of Musical Arts, Flute Performance
Cognates in Instrumental Conducting and Music Education
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Master of Music Performance, Flute Performance
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Bachelor of Music, Music Therapy
Florida State University

Experience and Professional Activities:

30+ years of performing and teaching experience
Founding member and former board member, Danville Symphony Orchestra
UNCG Summer Music Camp, Private Flute Instructor, 2011-present
Guest Conductor for Danville Symphony, UNCG University Band, UNCG Commencement Band, Pittsylvania County All-County Band
Performing experiences include East Coast and International tours, solo recitals, chamber and large ensembles
National Flute Association