Dr. Michael Braz
Although a music professor, Dr. Michael Braz has always had a fascination with both philosophy and comparative religions. In 1996, as an extension of these interests, Braz first began trekking in the Nepal Himalaya. In addition to the Kathmandu Valley, he has traveled in the Annapurna/Pokhara area and, more recently, in the Mustang region bordering Tibet (Jonsom/Kagbeni/Lomonthang).
Michael 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, he has also soloed with numerous other orchestras, music festivals, and ensembles ranging from chamber music to jazz and rock. For nine years, Braz was principal keyboardist for the Augusta Symphony.
Among Braz' original compositions is a chamber 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 recent recipient of an American Composers Forum/Rockefeller Brothers Fund "Faith Partners" grant. His compositions and arrangements have been performed recently by such varied groups as the Boston Pops, the Raleigh (NC) Boychoir, and the Georgia Tech Men's Glee Club. In his many years as a music educator, he has served as Associate Director of the Miami Choral Society, Conductor/Musical Director of the Boy Singers of Maine, and Founder/Director of Tallahassee's Capitol Children's Chorus and the Statesboro Youth Chorale. Currently, he has 16 published choral compositions and arrangements in print.
In his 17th year at Georgia Southern University, Dr.
Braz is a Professor of Music, teaching music theory/aural skills, orchestration
and music composition, as well as courses on such subjects as Finale music
software and Wagner's Ring Cycle. He is a book and music reviewer for various
journals and publishers, and is in demand as a performer, conductor, clinician,
and adjudicator. In 1994, he received the University's Award for Excellence
in Service, and in 2003, he received both the Statesboro Herald's "Humanitarian
of the Year" award and the Ruffin Cup, presented by Georgia Southern's
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.