For nearly 25 years, Michael has been developing a unique blend of Scottish and Irish piping styles. His ability to comfortably move between competitive Scottish piping and bellows piping, pipe bands and folk bands, uilleann pipes and whistles has led him to be a highly sought after performer and teacher.
Michael grew up playing in the Mohawk Valley Frasers Pipe Band under the direction of Pipe Major Jim Clough. For over 20 years Michael has competed and performed with the Frasers across the Northeastern United States and Canada garnering titles including the Canadian Pipe Band Championship (grd 3), the New England Pipe Band Championship (grds 2 & 3), and multiple Eastern Unites States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) Champion Supreme titles. Over the last decade Michael has led the band to competitive successes including EUSPBA Champion Supreme titles in grade 3 and most recently in grade 4 (2019) as the band’s pipe major.
Michael performs a wide range of music in a number of diverse settings. His trio Arise & Go tours extensively throughout the US and Canada and the band released their first full length album in 2019. Michael has been a featured piper with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, the Mohawk Valley Choral Society, and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in vocal performance and has also been a vocal soloist with Mercury Opera Rochester, Opera Ithaca, Ithaca College Opera, Triphammer Arts, Nazareth College Opera, and the Mohawk Valley Choral Society. His comfort in musical styles ranging from classical to folk has led him to bridge the gap with several of his own compositions for bagpipes and orchestra.
Michael has years of experience teaching individuals, group lessons, and band workshops. He hold bachelors degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance, as well as a Masters degree in Vocal performance. Michael’s background in music education has given him experience with students from as young as 3 in general music classes through adulthood. He has formerly served as the conductor of the College Singers at the State University of New York at Cortland, and assistant artistic director and conductor of the Mohawk Valley Choral Society. As a piper Michael regularly gives private and group instruction as well as band workshops and clinics. Michael has been an instructor at The Pipers Gathering, The Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend, and the Cairdeas Winter Weekend. He is available for lessons in person or online for bagpipes, smallpipes, border pipes, uilleann pipes, whistles, and singing. Lessons can include, but certainly aren’t limited to technique and skills building, new repertoire, tone and tuning, and theory and music reading skills. Michael feels strongly about lessons that follow a logical path of skills development, giving you tools to grow as a musician. All ages and skill levels welcome, including beginners.
For upcoming performances visit the calendar.