Gerald L. Phillips received a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University, a combined master's in voice and television production from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Temple University. His principal teachers at Temple were Joseph Margolis, Chuck Dyke, and Richard Shusterman. He has sung more than 45 operatic roles with various companies in the region and with several companies in the U.S.
He has published numerous articles on singing, philosophy of music, opera, improvised music, aesthetics and ethics, and the teaching of literature in journals such as the National Association of Teachers of Singing The Journal of Singing, the International Journal on World Peace, The College English Association Journal, Nineteenth Century Contexts (a literary journal), the International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations, the Journal of Environment, and Space and Place, among others. Phillips has written a book entitled Dead Composers, Living Audiences, the Situation of Classical Music in the Twenty-First Century, and is presently writing and serving as editor of a book entitled Improvising Revolution, on free improvisation in performance and music education.
Principally a teacher of singing, he has also taught various courses in the Departments of Philosophy, Art, Humanities, and in the Cultural Studies and Honors Programs. Phillips helped design the Cultural Studies Program and has lectured widely on various topics.