About Dr. Braz
Dr. Michael Braz is a nationally and internationally known music educator, composer, and clinician. For more than 40 years, his pianistic and teaching skills have made music accessible to a variety of children and adults on three continents.
Braz received his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Miami, later completing a Ph.D. as a university fellow at Florida State University. A keyboard soloist in England’s Haslemere Festival of Early Music (directed by Dr. Carl Dolmetsch), he has also collaborated with several orchestras, music festivals, and ensembles ranging from chamber music to jazz and rock. Several years ago, he embarked on a one-year teaching sabbatical, instructing faculty and students of various ages and backgrounds at St. Benedict’s School (Derby, England), Nepal Music Center (Kathmandu), and Huazhong Normal University (Wuhan, China).
While teaching at Miami’s Barry University, Braz wrote and premiered his first opera, Memoirs from the Holocaust, inspired by a visit to the Dachau concentration camp site. He has written orchestral/choral commissions for professional, collegiate, and school/community ensembles across the country, and was a recipient of an American Composers Forum/Rockefeller Brothers Fund Faith Partners grant. He has more than 20 published works in print, including recent releases of I Saw Three Ships and Deep River (treble choir), A Suite of Carols (orchestra, optional chorus) and Variations on a Theme by Beethoven (solo flute). In 2007, he premiered his second opera, A Scholar Under Siege, concerning racial politics in 1941 Georgia and the firing of a respected college president by the populist governor of that state.
Since he began his professional career, Braz has been actively involved in community music projects, founding the Capital Children’s Chorus (Tallahassee, FL) and the Statesboro Youth Chorale, in addition to serving as the music director of the Boy Singers of Maine and associate director of the Miami Choral Society. A member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternities, he has received national recognition from both organizations. Braz was named a Signature Sinfonian in 2008 and, the following year, conducted a national wind ensemble and premiered an Inter-American Music Award treble choir commission – The Music In The Rainbow – at the SAI National Convention in Chicago.
As Professor Emeritus of Music at Georgia Southern University and a 24-year faculty member, Braz has taught coursework in music education, theory, composition/arranging, and orchestration, in addition to classes on subjects such as Finale music software, recreational music, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle. He has been a book and music reviewer for various journals and publishers, and is in demand as a collaborative pianist, clinician, lecturer, and adjudicator.
In the past, Braz has served as president of the Statesboro Arts Council and received Georgia Southern’s President’s Medal, the Award for Excellence in Service, the Ruffin Cup faculty award (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), and the Statesboro Herald’s Humanitarian of the Year honor. In fall 2009, he received recognition by the David H. Averitt Center as its third — and first living — Legend in the Arts. His hobbies are comparative religions and trekking in the Nepal Himalaya.