Dr. Michael Miles
Director, School of Music
Dr. Michael Miles is a unique brand of musician whose career includes a unique blend of musical and academic positions. Dr. Miles’ academic career includes appointments at Western Carolina University and Florida International University. He also served for seven years as chair at Southeastern Oklahoma State University prior to his current appointment as Director of the School of Music at Southern Miss. Dr. Miles’ interest in arts advocacy and education has led him to administrative positions in several community and state organizations. He served as Executive Director and founder of the Red River Arts Academy, an intensive summer arts training experience for students 14-18 years of age, and was President of the Board of Directors of the Red River Arts Council in Durant, Oklahoma for eight years. He also served on the Board of Directors of the DaVinci Institute, a think-tank organization dedicated to arts advocacy and education for the state of Oklahoma. In 2006 Dr. Miles received the Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching from Southeastern after designing and implementing a highly successful College Success course for music majors.
As a trumpet artist Dr. Miles has performed with dozens of symphony orchestras as featured soloist and principal trumpet. In 1994 Miles released a compact disc recording of new music for trumpet and piano by Robert Suderburg and James Wintle titled “Reflections in Times’ Mirror.” Dr. Miles is also an accomplished conductor and music director having successfully led jazz ensembles, wind bands, symphony orchestras and musical theater pit orchestras. His conducting appointments include Music Director/Conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Symphonies, and Music Director of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival. In his career Dr. Miles has served as music director/conductor for over 25 musical theater productions, including the recent highly acclaimed Southern Miss productions of Ragtime and Sweeney Todd. In October of 2013 Dr. Miles will conduct the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra backing up the legendary Beach Boys at the Beau Rivage Casino. Dr. Miles has also served as guest conductor with the Xinghia Conservatory Orchestra of Guangzhou, China, Vidin Philharmonic (Vidin, Bulgaria), Springfield Symphony (Springfield, MO), Tulsa Philharmonic (Tulsa, Oklahoma), Tallahassee Symphony (Tallahassee, FL), and Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. Under Miles’ leadership the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Jazz Ensemble was recognized by the Oklahoma State Legislature as the “Official Jazz Ambassadors of Oklahoma” and made three concert tours of the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Miles has earned degrees from the Hartt School of Music, The Florida State University, and the University of Kentucky. He studied trumpet with David Hickman, Alan Dean, Ray Mase, Susan Slaughter, Vince DiMartino, Phil Smith, and Brian Goff. He studied conducting with James Croft, Harold Faberman, Ken Keisler, Gisele Ben-Dor, Daniel Lewis and Apo Hsu.