As anyone you ask will attest, our lives are busy. Sometimes more than any of us wish. In my life I have the best of many worlds for I work as a professional musician, teach at a small university, and in the field of Information Technology. I hold degrees in Horn performance and a business degree in Information Technology. These are two very diverse worlds that are truly a joy and filled with excitement daily.
Michael Gilliland joined the faculty of Missouri Southern State University in 1999 as Adjunct Professor of Horn. Prior to that time he was a member of the United States Air Force Band Program from 1989 until 1998. Michael currently holds the position of Principal Horn with the Fort Smith Symphony in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He is also in demand as a freelance hornist, as well as a clinician covering the topics of Horn Pedagogy, breathing techniques, performance practice, and section performance.

Missouri Southern State University is a small university in the southwest corner of Missouri where students get individual attention. Prior to leaving this position, Michael’s job was to train students to become Horn performers. For those that might not recognize the name “Horn” you may recognize it as French Horn. Michael and his students spent time together so that they may develop their skills and performing abilities on the horn. It was a rewarding experience to work with the young people as you try to help them quench their thirst for performing. Although, some need a little help becoming thirsty.

Besides teaching the instrument that Michael loves he also performs on it. Currently, Michael is Principal Horn of the Ft. Smith Symphony in Arkansas. Now in its 80th season, the Fort Smith Symphony is the oldest orchestra in the state of Arkansas. The symphony is a per-service professional orchestra comprised of musicians from Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springfield, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Dallas and other communities. The orchestra performs classical, pops, young peoples concerts and community concerts in Fort Smith and surrounding areas.

Educational and outreach programs have included performances by the Fort Smith Symphony String Quartet and the Woodwind Quintet for Symphony in the Schools, Youth Orchestras, Concert Moments, Teddy and Me at the Symphony and a special concert for sixth graders, Earquake! Committed to the music of our time, the symphony’s Composer-in-Residence program brings world-class composers and their music to Fort Smith.

Prior to Michael’s current positions he spent nearly 10 Years as a member of the United States Air Force Band Program. While a member of the USAF Bands, he performed with the Concert Band, Woodwind Quintet, Brass Quintet and Chamber Ensemble. With these ensembles he toured the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Egypt, Italy, France, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland and many other countries. Those countries total nearly 80. While in these countries He performed for Presidents, Kings and Queens, Ambassadors, Heads of State and millions of civilians.

Outside of the Air Force Michael performed with the Springfield (MO) Symphony, Springfield (MO) Regional Opera, St. Louis Philharmonic, North Arkansas Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, The Moody Blues, and Mannheim Steamroller. He has also been a performer at several regional and international workshops of the International Horn Society, and can be heard performing on 20 compact discs of both military and civilian performing groups.


2 responses to “Bio

  1. TP Hogan

    Hi Michael,
    I chanced upon your blog today and found it most interesting. I wonder if you recall the source for Rattle’s comment which you quote, “You never eyeball a horn player. You just don’t. They’re stuntmen. You don’t eyeball stuntmen when they’re about to dice with death.”

    Many thanks.

    Tom in Toronto

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