HomeOur ParishStaff › Michael Bower, Director, Music Ministry

  Michael C. Bower, a native of Floyd, Virginia, began formal piano lessons at age 6 and was playing for Sunday school services in his home church by 12.  He began teaching himself to play the organ at age 13 and held his first position as church organist in a German Lutheran church at age 15.

Mr. Bower received his Bachelor's degree in Sacred Music and Organ Performance from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, where he studied organ with Donald McDonald, harpsichord with Mark Brombaugh, and conduction with Joseph Flummerfelt.  During his undergraduate years, Mr. Bower pursued additional organ study with Marilyn Keiser of Indiana University and boys choir training with James Litton, director of the American Boys Choir, Princeton and Gerre Hancock, St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York.  He was also a member of Donald Allured's Concert Handbell Choir.

In 1985 he was appointed Associate Director of Music for St. Agnes Cathedral.  At this time, he assisted in the development of a professional music program, including multiple choirs.  He founded the Cathedral Girls Choir and directed the probationer group of the Boys Choir.

In 1987, he continued specialized studies in organ and boys choir training with Stephen Cleobury at Kings College, Cambridge and conducting with John Rutter at Clare College, Cambridge, England.

Michael earned his Master's Degree in Organ Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 1992 where he studied organ with John Walker, baroque continuo with Kenneth Cooper, and conducting with Amy Keiser.  He has performed organ recitals on the East Coast, the Mid-West, Germany, Austria, Italy, and France.  He is a regular concert organ soloist at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and guest organist for the Long Island Choral Society of Garden City.   Mr. Bower also performed Ned Rorem's "Quaker Reader" in concert at Columbia University as part of a festival celebrating the composer's 75th birthday in 1998.  He has been a regional workshop clinician in choral vocal production, boys choirs, and organ performance.

Michael's duties at St. Agnes Cathedral include directing the 105 voice Choir of Men and Boys, the 80 voice Cathedral Chorale (Adult), and the Schola Cantorum (16 voice a cappella ensemble).  He has prepared and conducted the Cathedral Choirs and Orchestra in performances of many choral masterworks including Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Mass in C, Haydn's Harmoniemesse, and Mozart's Regina Coeli (K 127).

He has also toured with the Choir of Men and Boys to sing at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City, The White House, and the Cathedral Basilica of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.   In 1998, he prepared the Cathedral Chorale for a performance at Carnegie Hall conducted by John Rutter.  In 2000, Michael prepared the Chorale and other Rockville Centre choral singers for a millennium performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  

Michael is the Dean of the Nassau County Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and a member of the International Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians and the Diocesan Liturgy Commission of Rockville Centre.

His hobbies include: gardening, vintage house restoration, interior decoration and house design, collecting and restoring antique furniture and objects d'art, painting, travel, water skiing, fishing, hunting, biking and singing!

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