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PhD - Composition
University of Aberdeen

MMus - Vocal Music
University of Aberdeen

B.M.A. - Composite (Composition and Saxophone Performance)
Brigham Young University - Idaho

Michael Merrill


Award-winning composer Michael Merrill (b. 1988) began taking piano lessons like a good little boy as a child, but quickly grew bored of it and quit like a normal little boy. He began playing the saxophone in 5th grade and singing in choir during high school, getting involved in theater and stage musicals along the way. He started “composing” at around twelve when he would fiddle around at the piano, trying to play various tunes by ear and experiment with different patterns. He changed his mind from wanting to be a history teacher to a professional musician after playing in band under the direction of Stuart Welsh at West Albany High School, Oregon, who premiered his first orchestration for band in Spring of 2006.

Mike holds a PhD in composition and an MMus in Vocal Music from the University of Aberdeen, where was was awarded the Dunbar and Paul Mealor Composition scholarships. He studied under Dr. Phillip Cooke and Royal Composer Paul Mealor, under whom we served as graduate assistant for three years. Mike also holds a B.M.A. Composite from BYU-Idaho, where he studied saxophone under Dr. Mark Watkins and composition under Dr. Daniel Kerr and Dr. Darrell Brown.

As the recipient of several national and international awards, Mike's music is known around the world. In 2019, his piece As an tSionainn was selected as the official graduation music for the University of Limerick, Ireland. He was chosen as one of the composers-in-residence for the 2018 Choral Arts Programme at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where he worked alongside Pro Coro Canada and their prestigious conductor Michael Zaugg. His piece for wind band Glacier Peaks won the 2017 New Music for Young Musicians composition competition, hosted by James Madison University. Mike's music has been performed by internationally-renowned performers including Alex Boyé; The Canadian Brass; Voce, Inc.; and Con Anima Chamber Choir.


Mike lives in Salem, Oregon, USA, with his wife and two children. 

My Music

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