Dr. Michael Parkinson
Director: MTSU School of Music
Wm. Michael Parkinson is the Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, beginning his tenure in July 2013. He most recently served at Ohio University as professor and Director of the School of Music. At Ohio University he taught courses in jazz studies and music industry/entrepreneurship, and directed Jazz Ensemble II and the New Music Ensemble, which performed at the 2013 Society of Composers national conference. He also leads the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenical group based in St. Louis.
From 1997-2007 Parkinson served as music chair at Webster University in St. Louis where he taught courses in jazz studies and performed with the Webster Faculty Jazz Ensemble and the Paul DeMarinis Quartet. At Webster he co-created the Certificate in Entrepreneurship/Music with Dr. Barrett Baebler and expanded the international opportunities for his students. He founded the New Music Ensemble and the Mini Big Band. Previously Parkinson served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he designed the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and was the founding co-director of the Kansas City Jazztet. He also served as Director of Bands at Case Western Reserve University and Assistant Band Director at Furman University. Throughout his career Parkinson has been active in media/marketing/advertising and has had several stints as an announcer on commercial and university radio stations. He was a presenter at the 2010 USASBE-College Music Society conference on Entrepreneurship in Music. As an educator he has long advocated the equal importance of developing outstanding musical and entrepreneurial skills for success.
A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Parkinson received the Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting from the University of Cincinnati, the Master of Music in trumpet performance from Kent State University, and the Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of North Texas. He studied trumpet with Frank Brown, John Haynie, Harry Herforth, Phil Morehead and Marie Speziale; and conducting with Kelly Hale, Robert Hornyak, Donald Hunsberger, David Kuehn, and Terry Milligan. In addition he attended the University of Tennessee, the Eastman School of Music, and the Berklee College of Music. His primary influences are Bob Brookmeyer, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Scarlett, Kenny Werner, and Kenny Wheeler.
Parkinson is an educational specialist/performing artist for P. Mauriat trumpets. He has appeared as a clinician or performer at events such as Musicfest USA, the Greater Southwest Music Festival, and at schools and jazz festivals across the United States. He has directed ensembles for conventions of the International Association for Jazz Education, the International Electronic Music Plus Festival, the Music Educators National Conference (now NAfME), the International Saxophone Alliance, the Society of Composers, the Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and South Carolina Music Educators Association conferences, and numerous festivals. He is the author of Basie, Bebop, Ballads & Blues, a highly respected guide to jazz ensemble repertoire, and Beyond the Blues, a guide to score/part editing and rehearsal techniques.
Since 1993, Parkinson has taught and performed in Poland, and served as Artistic Director of the International Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow from 1995-2005. In recognition of his work in Poland, he was named Amicus Poloniae by the Republic of Poland. For his service to the youth of the state of Missouri, Parkinson received the Jess Cole Award from the Missouri Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, and is a Friend of the Arts for Sigma Alpha Iota international music sorority.
Parkinson has performed with artists including Bob Brookmeyer, Nathan Davis, Bill Dobbins, Gary Foster, Bobby Watson, Gerald Wilson, Gary Wittner, and Phil Woods, and Polish artists Marek Balata, Joachim Mencel, Janusz Muniak, Jacek Niedziela, Wlodek Pawlik and Dominik Wania. His experience includes shows such as George Burns, Glen Campbell, Rosemary Clooney, the Four Aces, and the Manhattan Transfer. He has recorded with harpist Michelle Himmell, the Spirit of Kansas City Orchestra, the St. Thomas Quartet, Kirby Shaw, and the Webster jazz faculty, and for various commercial jingles and soundtracks. As a conductor-performer, Parkinson has worked with composers including Robert Cooper, Donald Erb, Donald Freund, Gay Holmes Spears, Karel Husa, James Mobberley, Eugene O'Brien, Kim Portnoy, and Morton Subotnick.
Parkinson is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the College Music Society, Jazz Education Connection of Ohio, Jazz Education Network, the National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the United Methodist Church, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Iota and Tau Beta Sigma. His personal interests include Formula 1 racing, reading, politics, and Polish studies. He is married to Charlene Hanson, a native of North Dakota who has had a distinguished career in choral conducting. The Parkinson's reside in Murfreesboro with their daughter Natalia.