Dr. Michael Parkinson
Departments / Programs
- DMA, University of Cincinnati (1991)
- MM, Kent State University (1975)
- BM, University of North Texas (1973)
Wm. Michael Parkinson is Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, beginning his tenure in 2013. At MTSU he oversees a distinguished faculty of 70+ artists-educators working with students from across the nation and overseas. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches courses in jazz studies and performs with the MTSU Faculty Jazztet and the Tennessee Jazz Collective, and leads the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenica...Read More »
Wm. Michael Parkinson is Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, beginning his tenure in 2013. At MTSU he oversees a distinguished faculty of 70+ artists-educators working with students from across the nation and overseas. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches courses in jazz studies and performs with the MTSU Faculty Jazztet and the Tennessee Jazz Collective, and leads the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenical group. He previously served as Director of the Ohio University School of Music and taught courses in jazz studies and music industry-entrepreneurship, and directed the New Music Ensemble which performed at the 2013 Society of Composers national conference. He performed with the Sweet Basil nonet and led Jazz Spoken Here.
From 1997-2007 Parkinson served as music department 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. He co-created the Certificate in Entrepreneurship/Music with Dr. Barrett Baebler and expanded the international study opportunities. 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 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 and marketing, and has had several stints as an announcer on commercial and university radio stations. A presenter at the USASBE-College Music Society conference on Entrepreneurship in Music, he has long advocated the equal importance of developing outstanding musical and entrepreneurial skills for success.
Parkinson is an Educational Specialist for Bach trumpets, Conn-Selmer Inc., and has appeared 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 conferences of the Society of Composers, International Association for Jazz Education, International Electronic Music Plus Festival, Music Educators National Conference (NAfME), the International Saxophone Alliance, and numerous state music conferences. He is the author of BASIE, BEBOP, BALLADS & BLUES, a guide to jazz ensemble repertoire, and MORE THAN THE BLUES, a guide to score/part editing and rehearsal techniques. He has been involved in music education in Poland since 1993 and served as Artistic Director of the International Summer Jazz Academy in Krakow. He was named Amicus Poloniae by the Republic of Poland, 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.
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, Terry Milliganand and Leopold Sipe. . 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.
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, 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, Halim El-Dabh, Donald Erb, Donald Freund, Gay Holmes Spears, Karel Husa, James Mobberley, Eugene O'Brien, Paul Osterfield, Mark Phillips, Kim Portnoy, and Morton Subotnick.
Parkinson is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, Jazz Education Network, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, Rotary International, and the United Methodist Church, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi 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 serves as director of the Murfreesboro Symphony Chorus and as minister of music at Central Christian Church.