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Department of Music

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Meet the Chairperson

Dr. Michael J. Bates

Interim Chair, Vesper Choir Director, Music History, Applied Piano

Dr. Michael J. Bates is Interim Chair, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.  He holds the Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Bradley University, the Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Music Theory from the University of Illinois (where he studied with the noted pianist-composer Soulima Stravinsky), and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Memphis.  Dr. Bates has been featured piano soloist with several orchestras.  He is also a recipient of an “Amoco Award for Excellence in Musical Composition” from the American College Theatre Festival for his original score to the Langston Hughes play “Tambourines to Glory”. His arrangements of gospel music for orchestra and choir have been performed by the Pine Bluff Symphony and the Long Bay Symphony.   Dr. Bates served as Artist-In-Residence and Coordinator of the Arts for the Arkansas Governor’s School for the Gifted and Talented for twenty years before leaving that post.  He served two terms on the Arkansas Humanities Council and for several years was a member of the Arkansas Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted Education.  Under his direction in 2006 the UAPB Vesper Choir toured Italy and performed a total of eight concerts in Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan.  Dr. Bates has also served as Regional Conductor for the “105 Voices of History, National HBCU Choir”.