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Turlock musician to lead Merced College choir
Phillip Smallwood

Turlock resident Phillip Smallwood has been selected as the new director of the Merced College Community Chorus.

Smallwood’s musical experience is deep and includes stints as a performer, director, teacher, and instrumentalist.

“Phillip is very familiar with the performing arts community in Merced, as he has been the musical director for several productions at Playhouse Merced, including ‘Big Fish’ and ‘Rock of Ages,’” said Shelly Conner, dean of economic and workforce development, community services and noncredit. “With excellent references from colleagues, former students, and performers, Smallwood has also been the accompanist for choirs and voice classes at UC Merced.”

Smallwood has directed high school and church choirs in Turlock and Modesto and is the accompanist at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Turlock.

Smallwood is currently a graduate student in choral conducting at CSU Fresno, and has studied vocal performance and choral conducting at the graduate level at University of the Pacific.  He possesses a single subject teaching credential in music from California State University, Stanislaus.

“I am both honored and excited to begin directing the Merced College Community Chorus,” Smallwood said.  “It is my intention to continue the fine work that Curtis Nelson has done.  Wonderful days lie ahead and I couldn't be more thrilled.”

The Community Chorus is part of Merced College’s noncredit program and is open to members of the public. Interested community members must register for the course “ARTS 512: Chorale Dynamics” for the fall 2016 semester.  The non-credit class will meet in Room 111 of the Lesher Student Services Center from 6:45 to 9:15 p.m. Wednesdays. Two community performances are scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 16 through 18.

“If singing is your passion, the Merced College Community Chorus is a wonderful opportunity for you to engage with other singers and to perform for the community,” Conner said.