Philip L. Copeland
Professor, Conducting, A Cappella Choir
School of the Arts
Division of Music, Vocal and Choral
312 Buchanan Hall

Philip L. Copeland, conductor, is Professor of Music and is in his fourteenth year as Director of Choral Activities at Samford University. He also serves as conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus and directs the choir at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Choirs under his direction have distinguished themselves on the national and international stage, winning significant awards in eight international competitions and performing concerts in conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (2006, 2010, 2018, 2022), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (2008, 2013) and on the stage of Carnegie Hall (2006, 2011). Dr. Copeland is married to Tracy and together they raise their six children: Catherine Copeland (18), Caroline Copeland (18), Claire Copeland (18), Caroline Owens (18), Claire Owens (15), and Catelyn Owens (12).

Degrees and Certifications

  • BM University of Mississippi
  • MM Mississippi College
  • DMA Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


  • A Cappella Choir
  • Conducting
  • Choral music education

Awards and Honors

  • International Choral Performance Awards: Florilège Vocal de Tours (2014, 2012); Ave Verum Choral Competition (2014); VI Tarptautinis chorų festivalis International Choir festival ŠIAULIAI CANTAT (2016); Three Grand Prix awards in Laurea Mundi Budapest (2018)
  • Jury member, Salzburg International Choral Celebration and Competition (June 2019)
  • Prix du chef de choeur, Florilège Vocal de Tours, May 2014
  • An individual award given to the outstanding conductor of the 2014 Florilège competition by the Arthur Oldham family, along with a cash prize of 1000 euros.
  • His University of Mississippi Vocal jazz choir “Spirit of Ole Miss” was a Gold Medalist and Category Winner at the 2001 Choral Olympics in Bremen, Germany


  • Copeland, Philip L. Review of Sacred Choral Music Repertoire: Insights for Conductors by Tim Sharp (2020). Choral Journal, 60, 10 (June/July 2020), 84-85.
  • Copeland, Philip L. “New Technologies for the Choral Musician: Inspiration and Communication.”  Choral Journal, 58, 1 (August 2017), 59-62.
  • Copeland, Philip L. “iPads, Androids, and Slates:  Tablet Computing and Choral Music in 2016.”  International Choral Bulletin, XXXV, 4 (4th Quarter, 2016), 58-60.
  • Copeland, Philip L. “Technology and the 21st Century Choir Director.”  International Choral Bulletin, XXXV, 1 (1st Quarter, 2016), 45-48.
  • Copeland, Philip L.  “After Eric: New American Composers after 1980 (part two).” International Choral Bulletin, XXXIV, 3 (3rd Quarter, 2015), 58-66.
  • Copeland, Philip L.  “Evernote for Every Choir, Composer, Classroom, and Conductor.” Choral Journal, 56, 1 (August 2015), 49-54.
  • Copeland, Philip L.  “After Eric: New American Composers after 1980.” International Choral Bulletin, XXXIV, 2 (2nd Quarter, 2015), 56-61.
  • Copeland, Philip L.  “Polish Mystery and Minimalism:  Twardowski, Bembinow, and Łukaszewski.” International Choral Bulletin, XXXIII, 4 (4th Quarter, 2014), 53-57.
  • Copeland, Philip L. “Latvian Choral Music:  Vasks, Prauliš, and Ešenvalds.” International Choral Bulletin, XXXII, 4 (4th Quarter, 2013), 77-80.
  • Copeland, Philip L.  “The Speed’s the Thing:  Fast and Furious Choral Music from Hungary.” International Choral Bulletin, XXXII, 1 (1st Quarter, 2013), 85-90.
  • Copeland, Philip.  “Digital Natives and Immigrant Conductors:  Catching Up and Reaching Out” Choral Journal, 51, 8 (March 2011), 27-35.
  • Copeland, Philip.  “Fighting Irrelevancy:  Using Technological Tools to Stay Current in Today’s World” in Creator Magazine.  May 2010.
  • Copeland, Philip.  “Technology for the 21st Century Choir” Choral Journal December 2009. (23-30)
  • Copeland, Philip.  “” Choral Journal, September 2009. (57-58)>
  • Copeland, Philip.  “A New Face for ACDA” Choral Journal October 2008. (64-67)