Michael Parkinson is a professional trumpeter, conductor, and music educator in metro Kansas City. He most recently served as Director of the School of Music at Middle Tennessee State University where he founded the Improv Ensemble and taught courses in jazz studies. He performed with the MTSU Jazztet on tours of China in 2017 and 2018, and was named Guest Professor of Performing Arts at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music. He previously served as Director of the Ohio University School of Music and as Music Department Chair at Webster University in St. Louis. He taught courses in jazz studies, contemporary music, and entrepreneurship at Ohio and founded the New Music Ensemble and the Mini-Big Band at Webster. In his administrative positions, he has worked extensively in development and alumni relations, marketing and recruiting, facilities improvements, international relations/partnerships, curricular design, faculty assessment, student wellness, and entrepreneurship. He also held faculty appointments at Case Western Reserve University, Furman University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City as Director of Jazz Studies. He is the leader of the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, an ecumenical group that performs for church related events.
A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Mike received the DMA in Wind Conducting from the University of Cincinnati, the MM in Trumpet Performance from Kent State University, and the BM in Music Education from the University of North Texas. He studied trumpet with Frank Brown, John Haynie, Harry Herforth, and Marie Speziale; and conducting with Kelly Hale, Donald Hunsberger, David Kuehn, and Terry Milligan. His primary influences are Bob Brookmeyer, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Bill Scarlett, Kenny Werner, and Kenny Wheeler.