An in-demand teacher, Michael maintains studios at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington Universities, as well as nurturing a private studio. He is a regular host/director of the Northwest Guitar Festival, and has been a featured performer for numerous regional festivals including the Northwest Guitar Festival, the Northwest Bach Festival, the Festival at Sandpoint (in concerto work with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra), and Northwest Folklife’s guitar showcase in McCaw hall, among others.
Michael has been profiled in the magazine Acoustic Guitar and is a regular contributor to the same. He has also written for Guitar Teacher and Play Guitar! magazines. Michael has worked as either an alpha/beta testing endorser or performing artist for Elixir strings, Lowden Guitars, Schoenberg Guitars, Hill Guitars, L.R. Baggs electronics and AER amps among other companies. His duo (with his wife, vocalist Keleren Millham) regularly performs at venues ranging from wine bars and house concerts to radio shows, theaters, universities and festivals: over 2,000 performances to date. They have released 3 CDs featuring their own compositions and completed their first documentary film soundtrack. Michael was recently featured in performance and on record with the Montana choir Dolce Canto (2011 recording) and with Spokane Symphony Cello and Bassoon 1st chairs John and Lynn Marshall (2015 recording). He is a graduate of the Lionel Hampton School of Music-University of Idaho.
Michael’s students have won multiple gold and silver medals at Musicfest Northwest, including concerto performances in the young artist division. He has had students go on to respected schools for bachelors and masters degrees, and his former students have themselves been hired to teach at the college level, including Gonzaga and SFCC.
Both an acoustic guitar amplifier (L.R. Baggs A-Ref) and an acoustic guitar pickup (L.R. Baggs M1) designed with/around Michael’s input have won MIPA awards (Musikmesse International Press Award; the “Grammy” of the Musical Instrument/ProAudio industry). The M1 pickup, in particular, has been adopted by many players at the pinnacle of the pop/acoustic music industry, including Tom Petty, David Gilmore (Pink Floyd) Cold Play, Jakob Dylan, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Oasis, among others.
In 1999, Michael was one of eight recipients selected nationally for Jim Beam Brand Worldwide’s Benefiting Emerging Artists in Music grant.