It wasn’t until he was about 40 years of age that Philip began singing in choirs; up until that time he had little use for sacred choral music. However, after learning his first sacred anthem, “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Fauré, he was “converted.” In the years following, he began to notice, with others, that as the culture was changing, so was the focus within many churches, their worship services and their choirs. Along with wise counsel and encouragement, Philip joined with about a half-dozen musically trained friends and helped give birth to a new community choral group, Over the Mountain Festivals. Employed locally in sales, Philip has been married to Teresa since 1979 and has three grown children.
Dr. Albert Smith has served on our Board of Directors and Festival Planning Committee for several years. He currently holds the position of "Festival Shutterbug" having taken most of the pictures of our singers and rehearsals. When not shooting pictures, you’ll find him in the tenor section. He and wife Lynn are the proud parents of two young adult children, Adam and Christina.
Vice-Chairman, Spiritual Care Director
One of our founding members, Don Voss is currently serving on our Board as the Spiritual Care Director. His warm ways and quick wit endear him to everyone he meets. If he’s not here or there helping one of our team or a singer, you’ll find him in the tenor section. Don is a native of Michigan and moved to Birmingham after spending thirty years in Miami, Florida. He’s married to Joan and has two daughters and seven grandchildren.
Joel Scroggins serves as our Financial Chairman and Treasurer. A graduate of Auburn University, he is a partner in a local CPA firm. We’re especially pleased that he serves with us because as a non-singing member, Joel allows us singing board and committee members to not be distracted with administrative tasks during rehearsals. When he's not helping Ruth, you’ll finding him hiding in the sanctuary listening to the rehearsal. He and his wife Donna have three grown children, Matt, Andy, and Leah.
Ruth Dagnan is the Festival Assistant, Board Member, and Hospitality Chairperson. She’ll probably be one of the first persons you meet when you walk through the door. While we are rehearsing, Ruth prepares a refreshment and snack table that is very grand! Ruth is one our few non-singers and does a wonderful job in making sure that the non-singing side of OTMF runs smoothly. She’s been married to John for over fifty years, has two children and four grandchildren.
Gaston White has been a part of the Birmingham music community for over 50 years. Gaston is another founding member who first discussed the concept of Over the Mountain Festivals at lunch with Philip in the Spring of 2008. He continues to be an invaluable resource, advisor, and faithful friend of the Festival. Gaston and his late wife Eva have four children and four grandchildren.
With that big smile on his face, you’d think John’s a tenor, but he sings in the low bass section. He learned about OTMF from a friend who sings with us. He enjoyed singing with us so much his first time that he talked his wife, Rosemary, into singing with us as well! A salesman of the first order, he has been an invaluable help in our fund raising efforts.
Dick has sung with OTMF for several years, and joined the Board in 2015. He is a longtime member and past president of the Birmingham Concert Chorale which became the Alabama Symphony Chorus. He also sings with Dr. Terre Johnson, a former OTMF Clinician, at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Dick and his late wife Kaye have one daughter.
Jan hails from Florence, Alabama, but has been in Birmingham about 40 years. She was in the audience for the first Festival concert and knew then she wanted to be singing in the next one. She has sung in every concert since then. Though she has participated in church choirs since junior high, they were always small groups. OTM gave her the opportunity to sing majestic music in a grand setting, to grow as a singer, and to meet wonderful people! Jan is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist who works at UAB. She and her husband Tim were married in 1982. They enjoy kayaking and birding. They have no children, but do have 7 rescued cats....(please, no more!)
The newest member of the Planning Committee, George is a veteran of OTM Festivals having sung in its first concert in 2009. Soon after moving to Birmingham from Miami, Florida in 1977, George began singing with the Briarwood Presbyterian Church choir and, except for a brief time living in another city, has sung with them ever since. George recently retired from Wells Fargo Bank which gives him plenty of time for the honey-do’s that Janet, his wife since 1979, has for him. They have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.
Dave is another of our founding members who has served as our Webmaster from the inception of the Festivals. Dave also lends a hand in logistics and pretty much whatever else needs doing. A longtime member of the Birmingham choral scene, Dave has sung with the Alabama Symphony for many years and served as President of the Birmingham Concert Chorale, the predecessor of the Alabama Symphony Chorus. He and his wife Trisha have two daughters and five grandchildren.