Michael Johnson graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance. Michael just recently graduated summa cum laude from Texas State University, receiving his Master's in Trombone Performance. At Texas State, Michael also served as the Graduate Instructional Assistant for the Texas State Trombone Studio. Starting in the Fall of 2017, Michael will be headed back to the University of Alabama to begin his doctoral degree, also serving as a graduate assistant in the Theory department.
Michael grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and attended Sparkman High School where he graduated with honors and won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award from the Sparkman band program. Michael has taken part in many local ensembles from his hometown including: The Rocket City Jazz Orchestra, the Madison Community Band, and The Silvery Moon Big Band. During his time at Texas State University, Michael played with the Texas State Wind Symphony, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, the NOW Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Inc., and the Gabriel Santiago Orchestra, the latter three being professional jazz bands based out of Austin, TX, and has performed on a couple occasions with the Laredo Philharmonic. Recently, Michael was selected as winner of Division III in the 2017 American Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition.
As a composer Michael has had multiple pieces premiered by the UA Trombone Choir, the Texas State Trombone Choir, and performers such as Gerry Pagano (Bass Trombone in the St. Louis symphony). The UA Trombone Choir has premiered many of Michael's original compositions including: Void, Commençant, Capriccio, Counterintuitive, and Michael's arrangement of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen for trombone choir and percussion. Mr. Pagano gave the world premiere of Michael's unaccompanied piece for bass trombone entitled "Steel", as well as subsequent regional premiers during a tour of different universities. Mr. Pagano also gave a fantastic performance of "Steel" at the 2014 Eastern Trombone Workshop. A link to the video can be found under the "Recordings and Samples" tab. The Texas State University Trombone Choir premiered Michael's piece "Chorale", and will be included in the "Texas premiere" of his latest solo work "Barlines", for bass trombone and trombone octet.