Henry Michaels was born and raised in Morganton, North Carolina, a small town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has served as the Audience Services and Community Access Manager at the Music Academy of the West since August 2018. Mr. Michaels is also completing his PhD in Musicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation explores the ways in which a song can come to function as a symbol – how a song means and how its meaning might change over time – using the well-known song “Dixie” as an exemplar of these processes.

Mr. Michaels is passionate about connecting audiences with the history and culture of music, inviting them to care about musical works, both new and old, in ways they may not have considered. He has taught lecture courses in the history and culture of music at both UC Santa Barbara and Westmont College, where he has been fortunate to guide a wide range of students, both music majors and non-majors, seeking to understand musical works and their contexts.

Mr. Michaels holds a Master of Arts degree in Musicology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Towson University, as well as undergraduate degrees in both History and Music Performance from Lenoir-Rhyne University. When he isn’t working, teaching, or writing his dissertation, Mr. Michaels enjoys reading, diligently managing his fantasy football teams, and spending time with his lovely wife Bridget at their home in Santa Barbara.