Michael Christianson

Michael Christianson


  • Assistant Professor, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Director of Bands
  • BM, Minnesota State University-Moorhead
  • MM, Manhattan School of Music
  • DMA, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Michael Christianson, Director of Bands at Michigan Tech University, represents the fifth consecutive generation in his family to become a band director. Originally from Fargo, ND, Mr. Christianson moved to the NYC area to become a low brass performer after finishing his degree in Moorhead.

Once there, Mr. Christianson slowly built a varied, interesting and successful career as a musician. He has recorded and toured with: Ray Charles, Maria Schneider, Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, and The Toasters. He has performed with: Mario Bauza, Philharmonia Baroque, American Symphony, BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and The Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Special new music performances include: Music for Philip Glass’ The Bacchae in Central Park, Henry Brant’s Orbits for 80 trombones at the Guggenheim, and Anthony Braxton’s Composition #19 for 100 tubas at the World Financial Center.

Mr. Christianson became an integral part of the Broadway community, holding a chair or subbing on 30 different shows.

Through his involvement in the NY free-lance scene, Mr. Christianson established Gotham Wind Symphony in 2003, a new professional NY wind band. Their first performance took place in Times Square. Under Mr. Christianson’s leadership, GWS has recorded three CDs (Music for Children, American Gotham, New Year-New Music), garnering much critical acclaim for their innovative programming. They were cited in Frank Battisti’s recent book: Winds of Change II: The New Millenium, for having one of the top performances of the decade 2000-10.

Mr. Christianson is thrilled to be working with the wind bands at Michigan Tech!