Dr. Michael Miles
Director, School of Music
Dr. Michael A. Miles is a unique brand of musician whose career has led him to all parts of the world in the role of a variety of musical positions. His most recent appointment is that of Director of the School of Music at The University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to his appointment at Southern Miss, Miles served as Chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he taught graduate and undergraduate conducting courses, and directed the SOSU Jazz Ensemble. In 2000 that ensemble was recognized in the Oklahoma Legislature as the “Official Jazz Ambassadors of Oklahoma.”
Dr. Miles has directed and conducted a variety of instrumental ensembles, including trumpet ensembles, brass ensembles, jazz ensembles, wind ensembles, bands, and symphony orchestras. His professional conducting career includes the appointment of Music Director/Conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Symphonies and 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. In 1995 he was appointed Musical Conductor for the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival, a position he retains today.
Dr. Miles has also earned three degrees in trumpet performance. His BM is from the Hartt School of Music, MM from the Florida State University, and DMA from the University of Kentucky. He has studied with David Hickman, Alan Dean, Ray Mase, Susan Slaughter, Vince DiMartino, Phil Smith, and Brian Goff. In his trumpet career he performed with dozens of symphony orchestras as featured soloist and principal trumpet, and has also had an outstanding solo career earning awards at every level of performance. In 1994 he released a compact disc recording of new music for trumpet and piano by Robert Suderburg and James Wintle titled “Reflections in Times’ Mirror”.
As an educator Dr. Miles has taught at Western Carolina University, Florida International University, and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. At Southeastern Miles served as conductor of the school’s Musical Theater productions along with his duties as trumpet instructor and Department Chair. Miles also has served as guest clinician for Honor Bands, Jazz Honor Bands and Orchestras in North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. In 2006 Dr. Miles received the Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching from Southeastern after designing a highly successful College Success course for music majors.
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.