School of Music, Theatre
and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell

     Michael Mitchell
Professor of Music, Choral Music
Director of Choral Activities 
Conducting, Oakland Chorale, University Chorus

(248) 370-2002

Michael A. Mitchell is the Doris and Paul Travis Professor of Music at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan where he serves as Director of Choral Activities while conducting the Oakland Chorale, the University Chorus, and the Symphony Chorus. In addition, Mitchell supervises the graduate program in choral conducting and teaches choral literature and conducting, as well as a popular summer course on the history of Rock music.

Since 2005, Dr. Mitchell has been associated with the Academic Choir Ivan Goran  Kovacic in Zagreb, Croatia as a regular guest conductor. He has lectured at Zagreb University, and was the first American to lecture at the Slovak University of Music and Art in Bratislava, Slovakia. For nine concert seasons he served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Detroit based Cantata Academy Chorale, leading that group on three acclaimed European concert tours and multiple performances with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. He has led the Oakland Chorale on state, regional, and national concert tours, including to Texas and New York, with performances at Trinity Church Wall Street and The Riverside Church. In Summer 2017, Dr. Mitchell led the Chorale on its first European concert tour, with sold out performances in Vienna, Venice, Ljubljana, Bled, and Zagreb.

He has conducted masses and full concerts at many of Europe’s leading sacred music venues, including St. Mark’s Basilica and Chiesa San Salvador in Venice, St. Nicholas Church in Prague, Peterskirche in Vienna, St. Matthias Church and St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, the Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bratislava, the Church of St. Jacob in Ljubljana, and St. Catherine’s Church in Zagreb.

In the popular music world, Dr. Mitchell has prepared and conducted choruses for the Rolling Stones and Sarah Brightman.

Because of his reputation as a dynamic, energetic conductor and teacher, Dr. Mitchell has conducted honor choirs and led choral festivals across the US, and has been invited to perform over 200 guest clinics with individual choirs over the course of his career.

As a composer, Dr. Mitchell’s music has been performed throughout the United States, including at several conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. Before coming to Michigan, he taught at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and was a choral director and music supervisor in the public schools in Texas.

Dr. Mitchell studied conducting, music education, and voice at the University of Texas at Austin and received his doctorate in conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where he served as assistant to the legendary conductor Eph Ehly for three years. His other teachers include Andre Thomas, Jerry McCoy, Patrick Gardner, Mary Breden, Morris Beachy, and John Silantien. As a doctoral student he was the winner of the UMKC Chancellor’s Award for Academic Merit and was a finalist in the American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition.

Dr. Mitchell is a member of The American Choral Directors Association and currently serves that organization as President for the state of Michigan. He is also a member of the American Music Center, The College Music Society, The Michigan School Vocal Music Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.