Voice Faculty

Dr. Phillip Serna

double bass & viola da gamba, strings faculty

Dr. Phillip Serna is an active and enthusiastic performer of early music alongside our contemporary, solo, orchestral, and chamber repertoires. He has performed with a wide variety of ensembles including the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Illinois Symphony & Chamber Orchestra, Musicians for Michiana, New Philharmonic Orchestra, the North Shore Chamber Arts Ensemble, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Renovo String Orchestra, the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and many others. In his role as an Early Music specialist, Dr. Serna has performed with period-instrument ensembles including Ars Antigua, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne, Bach Week Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Black Tulip, Burning River Baroque, the Callipygian Players, the Chicago Early Music Consort, L'Ensemble Portique, the Madison Bach Musicians, New Comma Baroque, the Newberry Consort of Viols, the Spirit of Gambo - a Chicago Consort of Viols and many others. In performance, Phillip has appeared on Chicago’s 98.7FM WFMT, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio and WUIS NPR and can be heard on CD releases from Clarion, Cedille, Soundbyte and Varèse Sarabande Records.

He maintains a private teaching studio stretching across the greater Chicago-area where he teaches double bass and viola da gamba at Valparaiso University, double bass at North Central College, viola da gamba and viol consort at the Music Institute of Chicago, and serves as assistant director and sponsor of viol consorts and Illinois’ first public-school period-instrument Baroque ensemble and viol consort at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Committed to community engagement and educational outreach, Dr. Serna is founder and music director of Viols in Our Schools, an Early Music program whose impact earned him Early Music America’s Outreach Award in 2010 and their Early Music Month prize for 2016. Phillip holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with studying with San Francisco Symphony member Stephen Tramontozzi and Masters and Doctorate degrees from Northwestern University’s School of Music where he studied double bass with Chicago Symphony Orchestra member Michael Hovnanian and soloist DaXun Zhang as well as viola da gamba with Newberry Consort founder Mary Springfels.

Dr. Serna is a member of the International Society of Bassists, Early Music America and is president of the Viola da Gamba Society Third Coast, the Chicago-area chapter of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. He lives in Plainfield, IL with his best friend and wife, Magdalena, along with their brilliant daughter Natalia and their dog, Chewie.

For more information, and to hear and view performances by Dr. Serna, please visit www.PhillipWSerna.com.