Dr. Michael Scarbrough



Dr. Scarbrough received his Bachelor of Music Education with Theory Option degree from McMurry University, his Master of Church Music degree from Scarritt College in Nashville Tennessee, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, and the American Choral Directors Association. Also active in the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, he has served as the Vice President and President of the Great Plains Chapter and served three terms as the West Texas District Governor.

His dissertation, “Portrait of a Leading Choral Conductor: The Life and Work of Roger Wagner,” was nominated for the Council of Research in Music Education’s Award for “Best Dissertation in Music Education in 1996.” The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd ed.) article on Roger Wagner is based on his dissertation. The article was moved into the larger The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed).

Dr. Michael Scarbrough joined the music faculty at Abilene Christian University in 1982, as Associate Director of Choral Activities. From 1993-2009, he served as Director of Choral Activities, became conductor of the A Capella Chorus (ACU’s top performing/touring ensemble), taught Intermediate Choral Conducting, and Private Voice. Under his direction, A Cappella sang a variety of musical styles in professional performances with The Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra:  Orff’s Carmina burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Respighi’s Lauda per la Nativita del Signor, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Choral Symphony #9, Verdi’s Quatro Pezzi Sacri, Harbison’s Abraham, and A Musical Theater Medley - Selections from Cats, Oklahoma, and Phantom of the Opera. A Cappella was also contracted to sing with Abilene Opera in professional performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and a smaller ensemble of singers from A Cappella performed in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

A Cappella has also performed at such prestigious venues as the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas TX and the Wortham Center in Houston TX.  They sang for the Texoma Regional NATS Conference in 2003, and for TMEA in 2005.  In the Fall of 2008, he conducted members of the A Cappella Chorus in a live radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor for an audience of over seven million.

Dr. Scarbrough has given choral clinics ranging from area high-school choirs to the Texas Private School Music Educators Association’s All-State Choir.  He has toured with choral groups throughout the U.S. and to Europe and South America, and has served as an adjudicator and clinician in Tennessee, Arizona, and Texas. Dr. Scarbrough currently serves as Professor of Music and Voice. His teaching responsibilities include Music Director for Opera Workshop, Private Voice lessons, and Vocal Pedagogy.

As a voice teacher, Dr. Scarbrough has demonstrated great success with students of all levels.  Many of his high school students have reached the Texas All-State Choir, while his university students have been accepted to such prestigious graduate schools as the Cincinnati Conservatory, Florida State University, the University of Colorado, Boston University, and Arizona State University to name a fewHis students have been successful in competitions such as the Texoma Regional NATS auditions, Singer of the Year, and have been successful in Young Artists programs such as Des Moines Opera and Central City.  Several of his students have become successful professional performers, or have gone on to be successful music educators.

His experience as a soloist began singing and performing in musical theater productions and Opera Workshop classes. He was accepted into Seagle Colony’s Young Artist program.  While there, he sang in a masterclass for composer John Duke, and performed the roles in Pirates of Penzance, The Pajama Game, and the role of Falke in Die Fledermaus.He has also performed roles with Abilene Opera:  Un ballo in mashcera (Sylvano), Cosi fan tutti (Guglielmo), Madama Butterfly (Yamadori,1988, 2004), Carmen (Morales, 1983, 2008), Tosca.

Dr. Scarbrough serves as the Singing Specialist for the Voice Institute of West Texas, where he works with Dr. Jon Ashby (Speech and Hearing) and Dr. Austin King (Otolaryngology) in helping clients find ways to heal and rehabilitate issues affecting their voice.  The Voice Institute of West Texas has given clinics on vocal health at TMEA and for the Texoma Regional NATS Conference on two separate occasions.