Gateway Musicians

Dr. Phil Wilhelm, Interim Director

Dr. Phil Wilhelm is currently the Director of Music at O’Fallon United Church of Christ in O’Fallon, IL, where he leads the adult ensembles and accompanies all services. He has served in this role for nearly twenty years, working in two other church positions before taking this job.

Dr. Wilhelm has been heavily involved in ministry serving on both the board of the Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ, and on the Executive Council of the national setting. He attended the LIFE program at Eden Seminary in its early years. He currently is on the board at Kindercottage in East St. Louis, where he serves as chair.

Dr. Wilhelm holds both a Bachelor and Masters in Music Education and a PhD in education. His doctoral research focussed on saving the indigenous music of the Ecuadorian rainforest. He taught nearly 20 years full time at both the elementary and secondary level, but spent the final 10 years at McKendree University where he trained future music teachers and conducted multiple ensembles. He retired early to pursue some other business interests, but still maintains contact in the classroom as an accompanist for O’Fallon High School and also as an adjunct professor for Illinois State University. He runs an active private music studio and is often called on to serve as a contest adjudicator and judge.

Dr. Wilhelm is excited to continue making music by guest conducting the Gateway Ringers this season.


Gateway Ringers group photo

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Current Members

(♩ indicates charter members)

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Past Directors

Wim Blees (1995–1997) Mark W. Lawson (1997–2003) Nancy Helmich (2004–2007)
Chuck Peery (2008–2018)

Past Members

Curtis Armstrong Laurel Bales Marcia Barber
Dolan Bayless Beth Beattie ♩ Jan Blees
♩ Wim Blees (Founder) Jill Dean Jan Ebeler
Tim Forbis Kevin Gale Hellen Gillespie
Kevon Hall Marcia Hansen Cynthia Harris
♩ Janice Hitchcock ♩ Sally Johnson ♩ Karl Kay
♩ Dub Koon Ginny Lawson Kit Lamar
Jason McGinnis Karen Mild Anne Miller
♩ Allison Nalesnik ♩ Georgia O’Brien ♩ Candy Parson
Janet Petersen Michelle Robbins Karen Rolland
Wendy Shaw Donna Skeen Kelly Stohl
Andrea Stramler ✝ Joyce Suttle ✝ Laurie Underwood
Steve Upton Crystal Wagner Bruce Walker
♩ Marcia Worcester Gurney the Gateway Chicken