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Keith Gates: Music

Michael Koon

Michael Koon can be heard in this recording on this website:
Jeanne d'Arc
Michael Koon

Michael Koon is an assistant professor of voice at Auburn University, and holds performance degrees in voice from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (B.M.), Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (D.M.A.). In Madison he served as a teaching assistant in voice, worked in the area of opera production and was one of the inaugural recipients of the Ann Crow award. He has served on faculty at Olympic College in Washington State, and in the University of Wisconsin system. Directly before taking up his duties at Auburn University, he served as an Assistant Professor of Voice and French diction instructor at the Crane School of Music.

Equally at home in concert, recital, musical theater, chamber and operatic repertoire, Dr. Koon has sung across the United States with such organizations as Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, the Whitewater & Sorg Opera Companies, Milwaukee Opera Theater, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, the Beloit-Janesville Symphony, the Victorian Lyric Opera, the Rochester Oratorio Society, the Aspen Music Festival, Opera Northwest and the Kitsap Opera. He has performed on radio broadcasts in Germany, the Netherlands and National Public Radio.

Michael made his professional New York City debut at age twenty-one as Captain Wentworth in Neil Moyer's musical adaptation of the novel Persuasion for the Jane Austen Society of North America, and later premiered the role of Mr. Willoughby in the composer's musical offering Elinor and Mariann, based on the novel Sense and Sensibility. Michael has been hailed for his professional work with the University of Wisconsin Choral Union, where he has sung the bass solos in the St. Matthew Passion of Bach, solos in Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem, and the Haydn Harmoniemesse, under the direction of Beverly Taylor. In 2002 he became one of very few singers ever to perform the baritone solos in the Duruflé Requiem with Maestro Sir David Willcocks at the Green Lake Music Festival in Oshkosh, WI. Sir David, who conducted the English national premiere, was a close personal friend of the composer. During his graduate studies in Cincinnati, Dr. Koon was also a favorite performer of musical theater and popular music at the now closed Forest View Gardens Restaurant, a training ground and home for professional singers for over twenty-five years.

Dr. Koon has appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Oratorio Society (2007), the Crane Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Choir (2004), the Potsdam Community Orchestra & Chorus (2007), the Crane Early Music Ensemble (2006), the Mt. Auburn Recital Series in Cincinnati, OH (2006), a memorial concert for the late American composer Keith Gates (2008) and the Crane Chamber Orchestra (2008). He has also given guest recitals and master classes at the University of Southern Mississippi, (2004), Salisbury University (2006), Murray State University (2007), the University of Texas at El Paso (2008), and an invited master class at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. In 2006 Michael was a semi-finalist in the professional division of the Classical Singer Magazine AudComps competition held in Philadelphia, PA.

More recently, Dr. Koon has performed Barber's Dover Beach with the Tasman Sting Quartet, and sung Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel on the Auburn University Music Department Faculty Recital Series. This year he will be stage directing Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Mighty Casey with the University Opera workshop and appearing in Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana in Monterey, CA as well as being featured in an opera gala sponsored by the Opera Institute of California at the Palm Desert Amphitheater.

Dr. Koon is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the College Music Society (CMS) and past member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).