Phil Zahorsky was hired as a full-time Music faculty member in September 1977 and achieved the rank of Full Professor. He retired in May 2010, after 33 years of distinguished service. Upon retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
Phil founded and conducted the Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, and served as Musical Director for 32 years of SummerFest performances. He cultivated the instrumental chamber music program, assisting students’ abilities to appreciate the more delicate nature of chamber music. Phil developed Ohlone’s piano class curriculum and was the lead instructor in this area.
Phil was an enthusiastic, created and tireless faculty leader in the development of music programs and courses at Ohlone. He created and coordinated many music courses which assisted the Department in offering a full palette of instrumental music instruction.
Phil was one of the major contributors in the planning stages of the Gary Soren Smith Center for the Fine and Performing Arts. His expertise in music and musical performance, particular in the area of instrumental music, was vital to the planning process for the facility.
As electronic music technology, including performance, composition and recording, advanced, Phil actively continued his education and training in the new technologies. He used his growing knowledge and expertise to create new courses in electronic music technologies, which led to the creation of the Electronic Music Certificate program and the Electronic Music Lab.
Outside the classroom and Music Department Phil has served on many committees including (but not limited to): Curriculum, Technology, Graduation, and served on many new faculty and staff hiring committees.
Phil was an enthusiastic advocate for the arts, for the music department and for Ohlone College in general. He was a highly talented and accomplished trombonist who played with all the major orchestras in the Bay Area.
He was a man with fair and good judgment. Phil developed a reputation among students as being an inspirational teacher and caring advisor. He inspired the music department and the college with the idea that a primary goal of learning be that students should enjoy the subject matter.
Phil passed away in 2011, after a courageous and dignified battle with cancer.