2017 mfsom Summer Staff

Aldo Program: Program Home | Program Details

Woodwinds

https://sites.google.com/a/musicforthesakeofmusic.org/music-for-the-sake-of-music/summer-music-program/staff-bios/Meyer%20Headshot.jpg
Jake Meyer, clarinet

Originally from St. Paul, MN, Jake Meyer is currently the principal clarinetist of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra in Ocala, FL. Jake graduated with his MM from Florida State University in 2017 where he received a full scholarship and assistantship. While at FSU, he served as principal clarinetist of the University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and Chamber Winds, and was a finalist for the FSU Young Artists Competition. Jake earned his BM from St. Olaf College where he served as co-principal clarinetist of the St. Olaf Orchestra, Eb clarinetist for the St. Olaf Band, and was featured as a soloist with the St. Olaf Orchestra after winning both the TourSoloist and Senior Soloists Competitions.

Jake has appeared at the Round Top and Madeline Island Music Festivals and has performed in the master classes of Burt Hara, Corrado Giuffredi, and members of the New York Philharmonic. Jake’s principal teachers have included Scott Anderson, Deborah Bish, Jonathan Holden, and pedagogue Burton Kaplan. Away from the clarinet Jake enjoys reading, swimming, and exploring sustainable living.

Originally from Indianapolis, Jessica Robinson is a versatile young oboe and English horn player. She has appeared with the Muncie Symphony, Anderson Symphony, Richmond County Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of America, and Vocal Productions NYC. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at New York City’s International House and has performed as both a chamber and orchestral musician in the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival, Prague, and IMANI Chamber Music Festival in New York. Jessica served as principal oboist in the Doctor’s Orchestral Society of New York, Mannes Orchestra, Butler Symphony Orchestra, and Ball State Symphony Orchestra. Jessica received her master’s in orchestral performance from Mannes College of Music and holds her bachelor’s in oboe performance with a psychology minor from Butler University. Currently she teaches beginning double reeds, maintains a private teaching studio at Pendleton Schools and Meridian Music, serves as a performance graduate assistant at Ball State University, and free lances around the Indianapolis area.






Jennifer Rodriguez, flute
Jennifer Rodriguez will in her second year on Staff with Music for the Sake of Music this summer, and couldn’t be more excited! Currently, Jennifer studies Music Education at Ball State University with a primary focus on flute under the instruction of Dr. Mihoko Watanabe. Previous private instructors include Melissa Snoza and Scott Metlicka. Outside of school, Jennifer volunteers with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, holds positions as a flute and upper woodwind tech with multiple marching bands, and has become a member of Ball State University’s first Flute Guild for the Fall of 2016. As well, Jennifer works with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra outreach program, both presenting and teaching basic flute playing to young children. Jennifer has taken part in masterclasses with Jessica Raposo and Camilla Hoitenga, and recently recorded on the film score of “Ash”, a Ball State Telecommunications film. Further performance experience at Ball State includes the undergraduate Tritone Trio, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. When she isn’t working on music, Jennifer loves to draw, read, and drink a nice cup of tea.



http://johnrossflute.com/
Flutist John Ross is an accomplished soloist, educator, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. He was appointed to the music faculty of West Virginia State University in 2008. He is also a regular performer with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, the Italian-American Opera Festival Orchestra, the Charleston Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia Philharmonic Orchestra, the Charleston Neophonic Orchestra, and the Charleston Light Opera Guild, and has appeared as soloist with the West Virginia State University Wind Ensemble. Mr. Ross is a graduate of West Virginia University (BM in 2005 and MM in 2007) and Ball State University (AD in 2015), under the tutelage of Joyce Catalfano, Thomas Godfrey, Francesca Arnone, and Mihoko Watanabe. He is also training to become a certified Andover Educator, studying body mapping with Liisa Ruoho, David Nesmith, Rena Urso-Trapani, Kelly Mollnow Wilson, Amy Likar, and Andrée Martin.







James Skretta, saxophone
A native to the Midwest, James Skretta is pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Theory and History at the University of Chicago. He has presented his research at the Rocky Mountain Music Scholars’ Conference, Music Theory Midwest, and the Midwest Graduate Music Symposium. His research explores questions surrounding metric theory, phenomenology, and music perception and cognition.

James is also actively engaged in the classical saxophone community. As a saxophone soloist he is a First Prize Winner in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, a two­-time winner of the Central College concerto competition, and was recently a featured soloist with the Central College Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University of Iowa University Band. James is a passionate chamber musician, having performed recently at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago), International Saxophone Symposium (Washington D.C.), World Saxophone Congress XVI (St. Andrews), the Hong Kong International Saxophone Symposium, and North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) conferences. James holds the MA and DMA degrees in saxophone performance from the University of Iowa. His saxophone mentors include Kenneth Tse and Cynthia Doggett, having had additional studies with Eugene Rousseau and Thomas Liley.




www.sumnertruax.com
Sumner Truax, saxophone

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Sumner Truax has brought the music of today to audiences all over the world. An active soloist and chamber musician, Sumner has performed for audiences in North America, Europe, and Africa. He plays regularly with Unmarked Turns, a piano and saxophone duo dedicated to interdisciplinary performances using art, music, and text to create unique and exciting programs. He is also active with Dr. Ax – a drum/saxophone duo combining rock, jazz, free- improvisation, and classical music to deliver contemporary music to new audiences. As a frequent collaborator with composers, Sumner has helped bring many new works for saxophone and saxophone quartet to life. Recently, he participated in the Global Premiere Consortium resulting in Baljinder Sekhon’s Sonata of Puzzles which he premiered in February of 2016. He has also worked closely with award winning French composer Christian Lauba resulting in the concert etude entitled “Bebop” which is dedicated to Sumner and was premiered at the Christian Lauba conference in Houston, TX. In addition to solo repertoire, Sumner along with the Lux Quartet has commissioned and premiered several works by young composers.

A versatile classical and jazz musician, Sumner has performed with the Lux and East End saxophone quartets, the Eastman Saxophone Project, Love Constellation and the Stars, Fatbook, and various large and small jazz ensembles. Twice a winner of Wisconsin Public Radio's Neale-Silva Young Artist Competition, Sumner has performed live on two concerts on WPR. With the Lux Quartet, he was a winner of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and a Downbeat Student Music Award.

Sumner earned his Master of Music degree in saxophone performance and literature and a certificate in Arts Leadership at the Eastman School of Music. At Eastman, he served as a teaching assistant to Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. Sumner also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in saxophone performance and instrumental/general music education from Lawrence University. He is currently the instructor of saxophone at Lawrence University where he teaches saxophone and chamber music.


Kristin Welke, clarinet
Kristin is a graduate student pursuing an Artist Diploma degree at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of music. She received her Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, under the mentorship of Alexander Fiterstein and Dr. Scott Wright respectively. Additionally, she has studied in Sweden with Herman Stefansson, the principal clarinetist of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. She has held both section and principal positions in the College Conservatory's Outreach Ensemble, Wind Orchestra, and Philharmonia, the University of Minnesota's Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, the University of Kentucky's Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Opera. Kristin has performed as a soloist with the local Heritage Players group, the Cincinnati College Conservatory's Chorale, the Green Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, and at the Young Musicians and Artists music camp in Salem, Oregon. 

Kristin loves teaching all levels of music students. She has been teaching privately since 2009, and many of her past students are now starting music degrees of their own. She has been on faculty for the UWGB summer music camps for the past two years. This will be her first year teaching at Music for the Sake of Music!


Brass

Alec Burke graduated from Ball State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Alec has participated in many of Ball State’s top performing ensembles, such as Wind Ensemble and Jazz I. Additionally, he served as section leader with the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band. While at BSU, Alec also participated in multiple community performances with the Trumpet Fanfare Ensemble led by Dr. Brittany Hendricks, which attained national recognition and premiered at the 2014 ITG convention for Mark Gould.

Alec is an active performer, and is versed in many different solo, chamber, classical, and commercial settings. Most recently, Alec performed as lead trumpet and toured with the Norwell High School Show Choir. He also frequently plays trumpet for musicals around East-Central Indiana. While trumpet is Alec’s primary instrument, he has some teaching and performing experience on other instruments as well. Alec has played guitar and sang back-up vocals with 906, a cover band in the Fort Wayne area that plays a variety of rock styles from classic to modern alternative rock. He also frequently performs acoustic, contemporary, jazz, and R&B music alongside Jennifer Rodriguez in The Burke Collective.

When Alec is not performing, he is teaching. For five years running, Alec has been the High Brass Counselor for the Strings and Jazzy Things camp in Indianapolis. Alec also teaches at Pendleton Heights MS/HS, where he works with beginning horn students and leads trumpet masterclasses and sectionals. He maintains his own trumpet studio at Muncie Music Center, and does multiple outreach performances and presentations with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra’s Together in Music project.

Outside of practicing for hours on end, Alec enjoys video games, tabletop games, and long bike rides. He is also an avid coffee drinker, and a big fan of Luna and Kavarna! Alec was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana but currently lives and works in Muncie. He is passionate about chamber music and solo trumpet repertoire, and hopes to one day have a chamber group that promotes music advocacy and education through performance. Alec is thrilled for his third year with MFSOM!




Bill Burroughs, trombone

Bill Burroughs is a native to Milwaukee, WI. He is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Music. Bill studied trombone and bass trombone under the instruction of Prof. Kevin Collins. He also studied Arts Management. While at UW-Green Bay, Bill performed in many ensembles including pit orchestras for various musicals, the Phoenix Brass Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Jazz 1.

He currently plays bass trombone in the Vento Winds in Appleton, WI and is the principal trombonist of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. Bill is also studies with bass trombonist John Thevenet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Bill is currently living in Green Bay with his fiance, Lori, and their two parakeets, Kevin, and Piper. In addition to practicing in his free time, Bill enjoys videos games, many various board games and trading card games, and steps on Legos after having built with them. He also stays active outdoors with a Nerf blaster hobby group in Milwaukee.



Tim Kiefer, low brass
In this his sixth year on staff, Timothy Kiefer brings with him a passion for learning and a variety of teaching experience. No matter the venue or material, he strives to teach the student rather than the subject. Tim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Music from UW-Green Bay and his Master of Music degree in Composition from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. He is currently teaching both music and academics at Providence Academy in Green Bay and also serves as Vice President on the board of directors of Music for the Sake of Music. Outside of music, he enjoys disc golf and tabletop games of all kinds.









Stephanie Pekah, french horn/trumpet
This is Stephanie's third year with Music for the Sake of Music. Stephanie received her bachelors degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2005 and has been teaching music in the Green Bay Schools ever since.








Percussion

Ben Hogan
From a musical family, Ben started playing percussion at the age of ten. In high school interest in the drums grew and he decided to pursue music at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. There, Ben studied classical and solo percussion with Dr. Cheryl Grosso, drum set with Danny Lueck and Jason Kruk, world percussion with Tim Patterson, and jazz piano with Christine Salerno. At UWGB, he maintained a busy schedule, playing with and accompanying nearly every ensemble on campus and performing with artists such as Howard Levy, Ed Calle, and Jeff Jarvis. In his course of study, Ben also worked very closely with the faculty and performed on several of their recitals. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012 with a double major in Jazz Studies and Arts Management.

In the Fall of 2012, Ben moved to Louisville, KY to study at the University of Louisville. He took lessons from Mike Hyman and Jason Tiemann on drum set and Dick Sisto on jazz vibraphone. While a member of the UofL Jazz Ensemble under the direction of John La Barbera, he was able to perform with artists such as Rufus Reid, Sean Jones, and Pat La Barbera. In 2013, he received an educational grant through FIPSE and spent six months studying Brazilian music at the University of Brasilia in the capital of Brazil. There he studied percussion and drum set with Leander Motta, Brazilian music with Bruno Mangueira, and Choro with Ricardo Dourado Freire. Ben received his MM in Performance from the University of Louisville in May, 2014.

Ben has performed professionally since age 16. His versatility and experience has allowed him to perform in many different musical situations with groups such as Ziji, Gypsy Trip, and Venom Amen. Additionally, he has performed orchestral music with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, contemporary chamber music with a very small consortium (lower case by design), and contemporary worship music at several large churches. Ben has recorded with saxophonist Anderson Pessoa, Venom Amen, and Various Small Fires.

Brian Kopfhammer
Brian is from the town of Sussex in Southeast Wisconsin, one of the many suburbs of Milwaukee. After graduating from Arrowhead High School, Brian attended the University of Wisconsin Green Bay for music education, and received his bachelors degree in December of 2013. Since then, Brian has worked as a substitute teacher in many local districts, including the Green Bay Public School District, the Unified School District of De Pere, Denmark School District, Seymour Public School District and the Mishicot School District. He also was a long term substitute at Seymour Middle School, where he taught 5th through 8th grade band in the fall of 2014.

Currently, Brian teaches in the Crivitz School District, where he teaches 5th through 12th grade band and various general music classes. The Crivitz bands have a busy performance schedule, performing for all home football and basketball games, as well as many community events. He recently wrapped up a summer marching band program for students entering 6th grade through 12th grade, where they marched in the Crivitz 4th of July parade.

Brian plays saxophone in several groups outside of school, including the Weiss and Friends Oktoberfest Band, the Hot Sass Brass Band, and the Music for the Sake of Music Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band.

Brian lives in Green Bay, with his two cats, Graham and Minerva. He enjoys playing video games and reading, as well as trips to his family's cabin in Lac Du Flambeau, where he most likely can be found out on the lake, with a fishing pole in his hand.

This is Brian's first year on the Music for the Sake of Music teaching staff, and he will be teaching beginning percussion lessons.

Ethan Zick, beginning piano
Ethan Zick is the secondary music instructor at Aldo Leopold Community School. Ethan teaches middle school, orchestra, band, and choir along with fifth grade band and orchestra. He has recently completed his third year of teaching at Aldo Leopold Community School. Ethan graduated from UW-Stevens Point with Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental, choral, and general music education and is pursuing graduate work through Silver Lake College.

Strings


David Goist, violin/symphony orchestra concert master
David Goist is a member of the Lexington Philharmonic. David holds a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and plans to pursue a Master of Music degree in violin performance in the fall. David studies with Timothy Lees, Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and has also studied with Won-Bin Yim and Timothy Durbin. During his time at CCM, he has been a winner of the Clara and Bertha Baur Competition and a finalist in the Violin Concerto Competition.






Eric Lakanen, cello
Cellist Eric Lakanen is originally from St. Charles, Missouri. He is an active orchestral performer and is currently the principal cellist of the Ball State Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Kokomo Symphony Orchestra, and Marion Philharmonic.

Lakanen maintains an active private teaching studio. He is currently a teaching fellow at the Butler University Community Arts School. He is also an active chamber music coach and has been asked to lead multiple cello sectionals throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area. In the fall of 2017, Lakanen will begin his position as Applied Instructor of Cello at Purdue University.

Lakanen is also an active soloist and chamber musician. Recently, he was invited to perform at the Kentucky Cello Club Presents: J.S. Bach: Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also performed in various student and faculty recitals while pursuing his education, as well as a variety of duo and solo performances. As a member of the Ball State University String Quartet, he has participated in multiple performances and community outreach events.

Lakanen has participated in master classes with renowned soloists and chamber musicians, including: Anthony Elliott, Kyril Zlotnikov, The Fifth House Ensemble, David Finckel and Wu-Han, and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet. Lakanen currently holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree from Butler University, and is pursuing a doctorate at Ball State University where he is the recipient of a graduate teaching assistantship. His primary teachers include Peter Opie, William Grubb, Brandon Vamos, and Erling Blöndal Bengtsson.
 
Naomi Rockenbaugh, cello
Naomi Rockenbaugh recently received her Bachelors in Music Performance at Ball State University where she studied with Dr. Peter Opie. During her time at Ball State she has performed with the East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra, Elkhart Symphony Orchestra and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing in an orchestral setting, Naomi has performed with the Ball State University Singers and BSU’s chamber choir at the 2016 Indiana Music Education Association conference. She has volunteered with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana and worked with the Muncie Symphony outreach program. In the fall of 2016, Ms. Rockenbaugh will begin her Masters in Music Performance at Ball State University while pursuing a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language. She has participated in masterclasses with David Finckel and Horacio Contreras. This is her second year working with mfsom.

Amanda Smith, viola
Violist Amanda Smith has performed with the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and Lansing Symphonies, as well as the chamber ensemble Camerata Michigan. While pursing her Artist Diploma and serving as a graduate assistant at Ball State University, she performed with the Muncie and Anderson Symphonies, and served as principal violist for the East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra. She has spent her summers at music festivals including the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Nief Norf Summer Festival, Taneycomo Festival Orchestra, The BayView Music Festival, and acted as an international assistant at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. As an advocate for new music, Amanda has premiered works by Adam Kennaugh, Mary Jane Halco, Nate Bliton, and Laura Roth. She was a recipient of the Western Michigan University College of Fine Arts Faculty Fellowship grant for travel to Russia and winner of the University of Tennessee Viola Celebration Collegiate Ensemble Competition. Amanda teaches violin and viola at Great Lakes Adventist Academy and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University.





Julie Stuckert, viola/violin
Julie Stuckert is excited to be teaching at mfsom this summer. She is currently studying Music Education at Ball State University under the instruction of Dr. Katrin Meidell. Although she is primarily a violist, Julie began performing in choir, and has since spent time learning marching percussion, clarinet, and ukulele. She has played with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Indiana All State Orchestra, and the Ball State Symphony Orchestra. She is an active member of the American Viola Society, the American String Teachers’ Association, and Sigma Alpha Iota. Outside of music, Julie enjoys traveling, card games, and spending time with friends and family.




Ensembles

Michael Lund Ziegler, conductor: orchestra
President and co-founder of Music for the Sake of Music, Michael thoroughly believes everyone is capable of creating music and enjoying the process and has made it his mission to help find or create avenues for all people to do so. In addition to his work with mfsom, Michael is Orchestra Director at Ripon College and Music Director at Suamico United Methodist Church. Previously, he served as Music Director and Conductor of the East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, and as Assistant Conductor of the Muncie (IN) Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Michael served as secondary music teacher at Aldo Leopold Community School where he directed the bands, orchestras, choirs, musical, and jazz band. His proudest accomplishment in his time at Aldo was watching the music program grow until nearly every Aldo middle school student-96%-was participating in at least one performing ensemble.  

Michael's primary conducting instructors include Douglas Droste, Thomas Caneva, and Randall Meder. He has had additional study with Kevin Collins, Gary Green, and Andrew Mast. Michael holds degrees from Ball State University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and has studied at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Michael resides in Green Bay with his wife Melissa, daughter Abigail, and their feisty beagle-terrier, Louie.


Andrew Mast, conductor: wind ensemble

Andrew Mast is the Kimberly-Clark Professor of Music, Director of Bands and Associate Dean of the Conservatory at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, a position he has held since the fall of 2004. Only the third person to hold the title of Lawrence University Director of Bands since 1951, he conducts the Wind Ensemble while teaching courses in band history, conducting and the freshman studies program. Prior to his appointment at Lawrence, he was Director of Bands at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where he conducted the Symphonic Band, Orchestra, served as department chair, conducted the Quad City Wind Ensemble and founded the Quad City Area Youth Wind Symphony. In the fall of 2013 he co-founded and became music director of Vento Winds, an ensemble of excellent adult musicians from the Fox Valley committed to the highest performance standards of the finest wind band repertoire. He has been recognized for his teaching via the Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2011, Young Teacher Award at Lawrence in 2009 and the Faculty of the Year award at St. Ambrose in 2004.

Bands under his direction have appeared at several conferences, including the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National and North Central Regional conferences and the Wisconsin Music Educators Association. A 2012 CD released on the Mark Records label features music commissioned and premiered by the Lawrence Wind Ensemble. Mast taught for seven years in the public schools of Iowa and Minnesota, teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels of instrumental music.

Mast is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association. Other professional affiliations include the College Band Director's National Association, National Band Association, Conductor’s Guild and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. He is a co-founder and President of the Vincent Persichetti Society. He has made scholarly contributions to The Instrumentalist, Journal of Band Research, the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and The Annals of Iowa.

Administration

Melissa Lund Ziegler is a frequent violist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, as well as the Lafayette, Muncie, and Anderson Symphonies. She has also performed at many music festivals including CCM Spoleto (Spoleto, Italy) and the Aspen Music Festival and School. She is an avid chamber musician of both contemporary and traditional works and ensembles. She has collaborated with a number of musicians and composers, including violists Dr. Katrin Meidell and Michael Chen, and composers Will Trachsel and Jennifer Jolley. As secretary of Music for the Sake of Music, Lund Ziegler continues to bring musical opportunities to the northeastern Wisconsin region, through both educational and performance programs. She holds two degrees from the prestigious College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH and an artist diploma from Ball State University. Major teachers have included Dr. Catharine Carroll-Lees, Masao Kawasaki, Rebe Barnes, and Dr. Katrin Meidell. 



Michael Lund Ziegler, music director
President and co-founder of Music for the Sake of Music, Michael thoroughly believes everyone is capable of creating music and enjoying the process and has made it his mission to help find or create avenues for all people to do so. In addition to his work with mfsom, Michael is Orchestra Director at Ripon College and Music Director at Suamico United Methodist Church. Previously, he served as Music Director and Conductor of the East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, and as Assistant Conductor of the Muncie (IN) Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Michael served as secondary music teacher at Aldo Leopold Community School where he directed the bands, orchestras, choirs, musical, and jazz band. His proudest accomplishment in his time at Aldo was watching the music program grow until nearly every Aldo middle school student-96%-was participating in at least one performing ensemble.  

Michael's primary conducting instructors include Douglas Droste, Thomas Caneva, and Randall Meder. He has had additional study with Kevin Collins, Gary Green, and Andrew Mast. Michael holds degrees from Ball State University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and has studied at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Michael resides in Green Bay with his wife Melissa, daughter Abigail, and their feisty beagle-terrier, Louie.