Michael Parkinson is Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches courses in jazz studies and performs with the MTSU Jazz Faculty and the Tennessee Jazz Collective. At MTSU he oversees a distinguished faculty of artists/educators working with music majors from across the nation and overseas. He previously served as Director of the Ohio University School of Music and taught courses in jazz studies and music industry-entrepreneurship.
From 1997-2007 he served as music department chair at Webster University in St. Louis where he expanded the entrepreneurship and study abroad programs. He founded the New Music Ensemble and the Mini Big Band, and performed with the Faculty Jazz Ensemble and the Paul DeMarinis Quartet. From 1985-1997 he served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was co-director of the Kansas City Jazztet. He has served as band director at Case Western Reserve University and jazz ensemble director at Furman University. From 1991-to present, he has led the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenical group that performs for church related events and concerts. Throughout his career, Mike has been active in media and marketing, serving at several radio stations as an announcer. He was a presenter at the USASBE-College Music Society Conference on Entrepreneurship in Music and the HBCU conference on preparing conductors. As an educator, he has long advocated the equal importance of developing outstanding musical and entrepreneurial skills for success.
Mike 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 education 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.
Mike has performed with artists including Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Dobbins, Gary Foster, Bobby Watson, Gerald Wilson, and Gary Wittner, 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, the Webster jazz faculty, and for various commercial jingles and soundtracks. An avid supporter of new music as a conductor-performer, he has worked with composers including Robert Cooper, Halim El-Dabh, Donald Erb, Donald Freund, Gay Holmes Spears, Karel Husa, James Mobberley, Mark Phillips, Kim Portnoy, and Morton Subotnick.
A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Mike received the DMA in wind conducting from Cincinnati, the MM in trumpet performance from Kent State, and the BM in music education from 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. Mike is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the Jazz Education Network, 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 interests include Formula 1, reading, and Polish studies. He is married to Charlene Hanson, a North Dakota native and choral conductor, who directs the Murfreesboro Symphony Chorus and is Music Minister at Central Christian Church.