Dr. Michael Butler

Associate Prof/Dir. of Bands

Michael Butler HeadshotMichael S. Butler is the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music in the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. He oversees the university’s band and orchestra program, conducts the wind ensemble and orchestra, leads the graduate wind conducting program, and serves as the music director for the YSU Youth Orchestra. Dr. Butler is a firm believer in providing transformative and memorable experiences for all students through frequent collaboration with high-level musicians, composers, and conductors.  
 
Before his appointment at YSU, Dr. Butler served as the Director of Bands for six years at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where the band program prospered and regularly engaged with world-class musical artists. The UWSP Symphonic Wind Ensemble received multiple accolades during Dr. Butler's tenure, including an invitation to perform at the National Band Association Conference in Wisconsin and recognition twice from CBDNA as one of the finest small university wind ensembles in the nation. Additional experience includes serving as the Associate Director of Bands & Orchestra at Spruce Creek High School, the Director of Bands at William R. Boone High School, and teaching at the University of Florida. Ensembles under his leadership flourished and received invitations to perform at the Florida Music Educators Conference and the renowned Carnegie Hall.

Dr. Butler is an active clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor nationally and internationally, including ensembles like the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own. Dr. Butler regularly collaborates with composers and has received high praise for his ensemble’s performances and interpretations. A staunch advocate of new music for the wind band, he regularly commissions new music to ensure talented composers contribute to the repertoire. Recent commissions include leading a consortium by Juilliard composer Wayne Oquin, which was awarded the 2018 National Band Association’s William D. Revelli composition prize and spearheading the commission of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe’s first composition for wind band. Additionally, he remains active as a researcher and academic writer, contributing articles to music educator journals and the GIA Series “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.”

The National Band Association has awarded Dr. Butler multiple Citations of Excellence for his contributions to wind bands. He is an active member of the College Band Director’s National Association, the National Band Association, and the National Association for Music Education. He is also a proud member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, and is an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma and Pi Kappa Lambda.