Music Director Finalist – Michael Giel

Michael Giel, Associate Director of Orchestras at Lassiter High School, has been a high school orchestra director for 14 years and received his Bachelor of Music Performance and Bachelor of Music Education from Valdosta State University, where he was a student of Karin Addis and Matson Topper. In 2008, he completed a Master in Music Education from the University of Georgia. In addition to his extensive classroom experience, Michael is on the faculty of the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival, which provides a comprehensive chamber music-focused experience to pre-college students. Michael also served as the Orchestra Director for the Georgia Governors Honors Program at Valdosta State University from 2008 to 2014 and has been a clinician for the Dekalb, Fulton, and Cherokee county and Atlanta Public Schools orchestra festivals.

Outside of conducting in the classroom, Michael has also served as the Principal Conductor of Capitol City Opera in Atlanta, GA since 2010 and works closely with the artistic team in program planning and the selection and hiring of orchestra musicians. Michael joined the faculty of the California Piano Concerto Festival in 2014 as the Associate Conductor and prepares four to five piano concertos with soloists and orchestra during each festival.

As a violist and violinist, he has performed with several orchestras in Georgia and Florida including the Savannah Philharmonic, Gwinnett Philharmonic, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Ocmulgee Symphony, Gainesville (GA) Symphony, Albany (GA) Symphony, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, Rome (GA) Symphony, Atlanta Pops Orchestra, Ludwig Symphony Orchestra, Da Salo Solisti Chamber Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony, and the Central Florida Symphony. In the modern music arena, Michael has performed with and for artists such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Il Volo, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, Evanescence, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Sarah Brightman, Lindsay Stirling, and Il Divo.

Michael is a native of Atlanta and lives in Brookhaven with his wife Catherine who is a concert pianist and the Music Director of Capitol City Opera. In his spare time, Michael is an avid tennis player and outdoor enthusiast.