Artist in Residence

Grammy Award winner Paul Phoenix joins the Arizona Cantilena Chorale board.

The Arizona Cantilena Chorale is proud to announce Grammy Award winner Paul Phoenix as our Artist in Residence for the 2017-2018 seasons. Paul’s musical education began as a boy chorister in the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and in 1977 he sang in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee service. His recording of Geoffrey Burgon’s “Nunc Dimittis” won an Ivor Novello Award in 1980, as well as a gold disc, recognizing more than 100,000 album sales.

His musical education continued at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester, England, between 1986 and 1991 where he studied voice and academic studies, spending his spare time singing in various styles and guises—as a member of Manchester Cathedral Choir, fronting a big band as well as recording with Dutch group Janus. Paul acknowledges how important this was in preparing him for the musical versatility and vocal demands of The King’s Singers. His freelance career was well underway by the time he graduated and there followed a 6-year period during which he worked as a singer and coach throughout the UK and Europa—continuing to diversify as a soloist in oratorio and opera, taking part in pop and classical sessions, coaching the choristers of Westminster Under School and performing with the Monteverdi Choir.

Paul joined The King’s Singers in September 1997. Averaging more than 130 concerts annually, he has sung in many of the world’s greatest concert halls. “I’ve enjoyed every minute as a King’s Singer,” says Paul, who in nearly 2,000 concerts with the ensemble has travelled all over the world, from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, through Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Far East with too many places to mention in between! As well as a packed concert schedule, The King’s Singers recordings continue to be released to critical acclaim. Yet it is the sheer diversity of repertoire as well as the quality and consistency of performance that has set apart Paul’s time with the group; time that has been recognized with numerous accolades: in 2009 Paul was awarded a Grammy for his part in co-producing and performing on the CD Simple Gifts. He featured on the 2011 Grammy winning recording, Light and Gold, with music by the American composer Eric Whitacre, and in 2013 The King’s Singers were voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame, recognizing more than 45 years of recording and performing excellence.    

In May 2013, Paul was invited to become a member of the Council of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This voluntary, non-executive role involves liaising with the CEO, Paul Boissier and members of the management team, providing support and advice for fundraising opportunities through music and the arts. The role also involves hosting public events, such as vessel naming ceremonies, and visiting coastal lifeboat stations, providing feedback from crew members and engaging local communities.

In 2014, Paul retired from the King’s Singers and launched Purple Vocals: Perform and Engage, a coaching and engagement consultancy. He again is traveling the world working with children’s choirs, church choirs and semi-professional to professional ensembles. Additionally, he also works one on one with solo artists, perfecting their performance acumen. 

Purple Vocals is both an online and personal consultancy, coaching choirs, ensembles and individuals in a range of skills, including presentation, vocal technique and professional development. Paul gives regular coaching to conductors, ensembles and individuals on performance and presentation, including King’s College at the University of Cambridge, and King’s College London. Purple Vocals is a growing international consultancy, bringing his coaching talents and experience to many people around the world.

Paul lives in Cambridge, England with his wife and two teenage sons. Paul has worked with the Arizona Cantilena Chorale since October 2016, and we are proud to have Paul on board as our Artist in Residence, sharing his talents and experience with us.