Music Director

Michael Stern
Music Director & Conductor

A multifaceted musician, Michael Stern is recognized for his diverse skill set as both a performer and educator. Previously serving as the pianist and Director of Contemporary Music at Christ Chapel in Ithaca, NY, he has accompanied the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy Chorus as well as honor choirs throughout New York. Additionally, Michael spent a majority of his academic career studying the trumpet, holding a Bachelor of Music in Music Education & Trumpet Performance from Ithaca College and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Trumpet Performance and Chamber Music. He has performed with the acclaimed University of Michigan Symphony Band and the Ann Arbor Symphony.

While at the University of Michigan, Michael was invited to study wind conducting with Michael Haithcock as a performance cognate. This led to additional conducting opportunities, including his recent completion of an additional master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Ithaca College under the guidance of Grant Cooper. Michael was formerly the co-director of the Cornell Open Orchestra and has also been a guest rehearsal conductor with the Cornell University Symphony Orchestra and the Ithaca Community Orchestra. In the summer of 2022, Michael was selected to attend the National Orchestral Institute + Festival to study conducting with Marin Alsop and Jim Ross. Prior to his enrollment at George Mason, Michael served as the Interim Concerts & Facilities Manager at Ithaca College while also teaching courses in music theory and aural skills. 

Recently, Michael auditioned for and was awarded an appointment to serve as a conductor in the United States Air Force Bands, which he will defer until the completion of his DMA in Orchestral Conducting at George Mason University with Dr. Soo Han. Concurrently, Michael serves as the Music Director and Conductor of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra in Takoma Park, MD. Michael is passionate about music education and hopes to use his abilities as a conductor to create an energetic, focused, and disciplined approach to developing life skills through music.