Victoria Schwanke 0

Save the Music: Keep Carla Phillips

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We, the undersigned, have learned about the decision to dismiss Carla Phillips from her position as an adjunct instructor at Finlandia University. We ask you to reconsider this. She has helped to build Finlandia University’s music program, and her absence would be a great loss if this decision is not reconsidered. Please take some time to read through the following reasons for keeping Carla Phillips as an instructor at Finlandia University.

Carla Phillips has been with Finlandia for nearly twenty years, and her students have come to know and love her as a teacher. Losing her would not only be a loss to the students, but also a blow to the University. Carla Phillips has worked tirelessly to help expand the music program. She has a history with the University that is impressive, including earning the honors of the Sampo and Sisu awards with her Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts at Finlandia University. Recognizing the need for a further degree in order to teach, she also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and English at Northern Michigan University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999. Carla Phillips worked hard for the position as a professor, and has used it to spread the knowledge and love of music through Finlandia’s students and the community.

Not only has Carla Phillips shared the gift of music with her students in her Music Appreciation classes, but has also shared music with students at Finlandia University and other private students by teaching piano lessons. Moreover, she has taught music theory, ensemble, and been a choir director when needed. She is known throughout the community for her piano lessons, and her involvement in many music related events that happen locally throughout the year. Carla Phillips has worked and played for the annual Pine Mountain Music Festival for several years, and has done miscellaneous accompaniment throughout the community despite her busy schedule. However, most notable is probably her involvement with Suzuki and Houghton High School’s choir and band for many years. This has been a labor of love, with practice and travel time, that she willingly invested in these young music students. Her work to open the door to possible music students has been an integral part of the community and has helped to bring students to Finlandia University.

We believe that by dismissing Carla Phillips you are making a mistake that will likely harm the University’s reputation in the local community. She has been an integral part of music in the area, and her greatest joy and passion is to share the gift and blessing of music with all the people she can. She shows this through all she does, but if Finlandia University is taken out of that intricate web, she will lose one of her greatest outlets to teach students about music. Thank you for taking time to read this, and please reconsider your decision concerning this matter.


Victoria Schwanke


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