Phillip Magness received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas. He has since pursued studies in ministry and church music at Concordia University-Chicago. For several years he divided his time between freelance piano work, college teaching, and part-time work as a church musician. In 1993 he was appointed to his first full-time cantorate at Trinity Lutheran in Peoria. From 2000-2013 he served in the Chicago area, first at Bethany Lutheran Church and School in Naperville, IL, then at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Tinley Park, IL. Both parishes gave him the honorific title "Cantor," in the tradition of Lutheran church. He now directs the music program and prepares the liturgies for worship at Immnauel Lutheran Church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Phillip's work outside the parish includes composing for Liturgy Solutions and serving as Secretary of the Board for International Mission for the LCMS. He also serves as Cantor for Doxology retreats and is has taught seminars on the French edition of the LSB (Liturgies et Cantiques Luthériens) in Canada and Africa. He was active with the Lutheran Hymnal Project, which assembled the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), and was chairman of the LSB Introduction Committee. LSB contains several of his compositions, including the tune UNION CITY ("If Christ Had Not Been Raised From Death" - LSB 486)) and the OT canticle in the new Service of Prayer and Preaching ("The Lord God is My Strength and My Song"). Phillip is also the composer of the song cycle setting Luther's Small Catechism to music published by CPH, "Sing the Faith."
In 2008, Phillip was honored to give a keynote address at the triennial LCMS national worship conference; he has been a regular presenter at LCMS and WELS worship conferences. In 2010, he was elected to the Missouri Synod's Board for International Mission, for which he is now Secretary. In 2013, he had the privilege and joy of serving as music director for the LCMS synodical convention. His wife, Cheryl, is an accomplished choral accompanist. The Magnesses are a homeschooling family with three children: Trevor, Caitlin, and Evan. Trevor, their oldest, is now studying piano performance with Paul Barnes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.