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Rising Stars: Meet Dr. Philip A. Woodmore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Philip A. Woodmore.

Dr. Woodmore, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Many years ago, I found my niche in the arts as a pianist. My mother always shares the story of how she knew I was a lover of the arts in the womb. I would dance around when I heard the choir sing at First Baptist Church of Chesterfield where my father was ordained as a minister and also played in the church band.

As I entered the education system in the Rockwood School District as a student, I discovered the arts through many amazing educators and programs.

I participated in my elementary school orchestra playing the violin and cello, I was also an active member of the choir throughout the elementary, middle, and high school played piano in the middle school jazz band, and was the accompanist for all the musicals at Marquette High School during my time there.

The arts built a bridge for my education during my time as a student in Rockwood and I am thankful to have that outlet to express my creativity.

After college, I decided to pursue my passion for music as a music educator. I spent one year in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and thirteen years in the Rockwood School District teaching middle school choir to thousands of young singers.

Along with my time in the classroom, I was music directing shows in the greater St. Louis area and was also in charge of the voice program at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA). It was an amazing experience giving music to all of these different communities throughout my career.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road getting here.

I spent many nights wondering what was next for me, especially during the pandemic. I taught middle school choir for about 13 years and decided to come out of the classroom when the musical I wrote, Antigone in Ferguson, honoring the life and legacy of Michael Brown, got picked up Off-Broadway in New York.

I was living the dream of performing every day and decided after the run ended to come back to St. Louis to get ready for my next project when the pandemic hit. I was left with nothing and had to decide what was next.

I opened a virtual voice studio which afford me some income and allowed me to coach students all over the country as well as write my first book, Antigone in Ferguson: A Journey Through the Transformative Power of Music.”

I have slowly been finding my way back after the pandemic, there were many nights when I wondered if I was even relevant anymore or had anything else to write. I felt as positive as a person as I was, and my light started to dim. Music got me through, and writing music was even more therapeutic as I shared my pain and questions through my art.

The arts are transformative and I believe in the power of their transformation.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I started playing the piano at age 5 and then started singing in middle and high school. At present, I am known for my compositions. I wrote the Off-Broadway show Antigone in Ferguson in 2016, and the national touring show, The Drum Major Instinct in 2017, and have written several choral compositions for schools and honor choirs.

I have also written a book on the transformative power of music and how the arts bring healing to communities. I think the model used in Antigone in Ferguson by performing the artwork and then having a thoughtful conversation around the artistic sharing brings a lot of strength to the conversation and begins making connections to topics of social justice and societal issues.

I am honored to share with my family and friends in the St. Louis community that I am the inaugural artistic director for a brand new private performing arts high school here called The MultiCultural Arts Academy and Conservatory.

I am so excited and honored to be a part of this trailblazing team that is working hard to provide excellent arts education in a private school setting for our community with hands-on training, real-world experiences, and a multitude of performance opportunities.

Looking forward to this great adventure.

How do you define success?
I define success as knowing I wake up every day to continue moving forward in my passion for music. Specifically, by sharing my passion with others through conversation, composition, coaching, and making strong connections.

Pricing:

  • Antigone in Ferguson Book $20
  • P. Woodmore Music T-shirts $20
  • AIF T-shirts $20

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.philipawoodmore.com
  • Instagram: @Phil_Woodmore
  • Facebook: Phil Woodmore
  • Twitter: @Phil_Woodmore
  • Youtube: Phil Woodmore

Image Credits
Spim Media

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