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Harvey Phillips

Harvey Phillips has performed as a tuba soloist throughout the world. His music career began as a teenager with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. From 1950-71 Phillips maintained a freelance career in New York City, performing, recording, and broadcasting with famous artists, conductors, bands, and orchestras.

In 1954, he was a founding member of the New York Brass Quintet. He served as personnel manager for Symphony of the Air, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, and Gunther Schuller. At New England Conservatory Phillips held the position of Vice President for Financial Affairs (1967-71). In 1971, he was appointed to the Indiana University faculty. For ten years (1986-96) Phillips served as Executive Editor of The Instrumentalist magazine.

Portrait image of former NEC Vice President, Harvey Phillips

Harvey Phillips History

Harvey Phillips has structured and hosted many international conferences and festivals in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He served as a judge for the Concours International d’Exécution Musicale (CIEM) First International Solo Tuba Competition (1991), Geneva, Switzerland.

His honors include Principal Tuba, Circus Hall of Fame Band (selected by Merle Evans); Kappa Gamma Psi Distinguished Service to Music Medal (1979); Association of Concert Bands “first” Mentor Ideal Award (1994); Sousa Foundation Sudler Medal of the Order of Merit award (1995); National Band Association Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award (1995); United Musical Instruments Lifetime Achievement Award (1996); American Bandmasters Association Edwin Franco Goldman Award (1996); Rafael Mendez Brass Institute Lifetime Achievement Award (1997); Colonial Euphonium-Tuba Institute Development of Musical Artistry & Opportunities Award (1997); and the Phi Mu Alpha Orpheus Award (1997). Harvey Phillips Day has been celebrated by the New England Conservatory (1971) and by his hometown Bi-Centennial Celebration, Marionville, Missouri (1976). In 1985 the Governor of Missouri declared a Harvey Phillips Weekend. He holds an Honorary Doctor of Music from New England Conservatory (1971) and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from the University of Missouri (1987). Phillips is the founder and president of the Harvey Phillips Foundation, Inc. which administers OCTUBAFEST, TUBACHRISTMAS, TUBASANTAS, TUBACOMPANY, TUBAJAZZ, etc. In May 1994 Phillips retired from Indiana University with the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Prior to his death in 2010, Phillips continued to serve as a consultant in the arts and to brass instrument manufacturers and maintained a busy international schedule of concerts, lectures, and clinics.


Harvey Phillips Archives

The Harvey Phillips collection consists of .2 lin. ft or approximately one-fifth of the record carton.  The Phillips collection contains only paper files

This collection was generated by Harvey Phillips during his tenure at NEC as Vice President for Financial Affairs. These materials had been kept in storage until they were transferred to the Archives in 2004.

Access to the Harvey J. Phillips Papers is granted by the Archivist. Appointments must be scheduled in advance. The majority of this collection is not restricted. There may be a few restrictions, particularly on the faculty correspondence.  Issues of access will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory. Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Archivist. This collection should be cited as NECA 3.5. Harvey J. Phillips Papers, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.

The Harvey Phillips Papers are organized into six series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Department Files
  3. Community Services Department/Extension Division Files
  4. Gifts/Scholarship Records
  5. Subject Files
  6. External Files

The first series, Correspondence, is divided into two categories – general correspondence and faculty correspondence. The general correspondence spans the years 1968-1971. The faculty file contains correspondence to/from/or about individual faculty members. This file is organized alphabetically according to the faculty member’s last name.

The Department Files series consists of twelve folders, eleven of which relate to NEC administrative departments and the twelfth contains information regarding NEC’s piano department. The general administrative department file contains information about miscellaneous topics such as the Annual Strauss Ball, employee retirement, and the rental policies for NEC concert halls.  The Admissions file contains various enrollment statistics from the years 1968-1971. The Public Relations/Development folder contains materials regarding changing strategies and approaches for the PR Department, fundraising plans, and hiring of staff. Other administrative department files include those of Audio, Business office, Concert Halls, Extension Division, President’s office, Residence Hall, and Security.

Two files document the activities of the Community Services Department. The first contains information regarding the general operation, space, equipment, budget, curriculum, and fundraising methods.  This folder also contains a very small amount of information involving the Preparatory School/Extension Division. The second folder documents NEC’s collaboration with the Elma Lewis School for Fine Arts through the Community Services Department. This folder contains background on the collaboration; correspondence with the Ford Foundation, which provided funding for the program; a newspaper article; a program for a fundraiser; and materials evaluating and suggesting improvements after the first year of the program.

The first folder in the Gifts/Scholarship series contains brief information regarding the Margaret Leland Estate, George Laurent’s estate, the Ford Foundation, the Ratshesky Foundation, the Paul Lavalle Scholarship, and other gifts. The other folder in this series contains materials about the John Padovano Memorial Scholarship.

Phillips’ Subject Files cover a variety of topics.  The first folder documents planning for the publication of essays from the NEC Centennial Symposium, “The Conservatory Redefined.” The next folder documents a special program in London for NEC students, directed by NEC faculty member Benjamin Zander. The Paintings/Historic Instruments folder contains a very small amount of information regarding NEC’s collection of paintings, furnishings, and antique instruments and their appraisal. Another folder documents the state of NEC’s collection of pianos…there is information regarding gift appraisal, piano tuning, and repair. Finally, the folder about piano manufacturers contains notes evaluating several piano manufacturing plants, compiled by NEC’s piano technician, T. V. Potter. Another folder contains information regarding NEC recording projects happening during Phillips’ tenure. The last folder includes planning materials for the construction of the Firestone Audio/Video Library

There are only two External Files in Phillips’ collection. The first documents NEC’s involvement with the Council of the Professional Schools of Music (CIPSOM). This file contains conference information, survey material, and correspondence. Lastly, the WBZ folder contains materials documenting the work of members of the NEC stage crew in assisting with a WBZ production.

Series 1: Correspondence

  • Folder 1 – Correspondence, General
  • Folder 2 – Correspondence, Faculty

Series 2: Department Files

  • Folder 3 – Academic Departments, Piano
  • Folder 4 – Administrative Departments, General
  • Folder 5 – Administrative Departments, Admissions
  • Folder 6 – Administrative Departments, Alumni
  • Folder 7 – Administrative Departments, Audio
  • Folder 8 – Administrative Departments, Business Office
  • Folder 9 – Administrative Departments, Concert Halls
  • Folder 10 – Administrative Departments, Extension Division
  • Folder 11 – Administrative Departments, President’s Office
  • Folder 12 – Administrative Departments, Public Relations/Development
  • Folder 13 – Administrative Departments, Residence Hall
  • Folder 14 – Administrative Departments, Security

Series 3: Community Services Department

  • Folder 15 – Community Services Department, General
  • Folder 16 – Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts

Series 4:  Gifts/Scholarships

  • Folder 17 – Gifts/Scholarships, General
  • Folder 18 – John Padovano Memorial Scholarship

Series 5: Subject Files

  • Folder 19 – The Conservatory Redefined – Centennial Symposium
  • Folder 20 – London Project
  • Folder 21 – Paintings, Historical Collections
  • Folder 22 – Piano Inventories/Tuning/Repair
  • Folder 23 – Piano Manufacturers
  • Folder 24 – NEC Recordings
  • Folder 25 – Firestone Library

Series 6: External Files

  • Folder 26 – Council on Independent Professional Schools of Music (CIPSOM)
  • Folder 27 – WBZ