Artistic Director & Conductor
Music has been an intracule part of Michael’s life since early childhood. He, along with his family can recall a young Michael, in the audience, using a “rolled up” concert program as a conductor’s baton. This was not an uncommon occurrence! From that young age Michael knew he wanted to pursue a career in music.
Growing up, Michael was blessed to have multiple opportunities to pursue his love of music. He was a member of the school choir, performed solos, attended musical theater courses at Peabody preparatory and studied voice and piano. At his high school graduation Michael composed and performed a selection along with other students and was presented with the “Best Vocalist Award”.
After high school, Michael studied music at CCBC-Essex then transferred to Towson University where he received his bachelor’s degree in music. While in college Michael received 2ndplace at a NATS event. (National Association of Teachers of Singing). This recognition was quite the honor. Immediately following graduation from Towson, Michael was hired to teach music at St. Ursula School in Parkville, Maryland. While teaching, he pursued graduate studies at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, where he received a certificate in Contemporary Commercial music and a graduate certificate in Church Music. Michael also continued his study in voice, conducting, and music theory and music history.
While in graduate school Michael continued the marketing himself as a music teacher and choral director by reaching out to multiple communities. These communities included churches, preschools and retirement homes. This promotional “boost” of himself gained Michael various employment which included the Children’s Choir director at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, various Choral and vocal programs at retirement communities, and through his mother’s Music and Movement business broadened his opportunity in various preschool programs. In January 2012 Michael left his position at Cathedral of Incarnation and was hired as music director at St James Episcopal Church in Monton, Maryland.
In February 2015 Michael was awarded the Teacher of Excellence Award at St. Ursula Catholic School. Under Michael’s direction each music program he leads, continue to grow in talent, numbers and varying experiences.
Michael currently holds Music positions with the following: St. Ursula Catholic school in Parkville, Avondell Retirement Community in Bel Air, St. James Episcopal Church in Monkton, Step By Step Children’s Learning Center, and the Hunt Valley Chorale.
Gregory Lauer, a native of York, Pennsylvania, is the Director of Education at the Appell Center for Performing Arts and the Founder & Executive Director of the Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale. Mr. Lauer is also the Principal Horn of the Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra, core member of the Maryand Winds, and performs regularly as a member of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Lauer earned a B.A. in Music from Fairmont State University with the majority of his training received at West Virginia University majoring in music performance. Mr. Lauer is frequently in demand as a music director, conductor, soloist, and judge throughout the East Coast.
As a horn player, Greg has had an extensive career performing with many orchestras including the Hunt Valley Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony, FSCA Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Phil., Maryland Winds and many more. Greg’s musical gifts have given him opportunities to perform in London, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Hawaii as well as across the United States including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. An active freelancer, Greg also plays horn/piano with several regional theatre companies and was also on the Netflix series "House of Cards”. Greg’s private students have shown abundant success placing at local, regional, and national competitions.
Founder & Executive Director
Christopher M. Cicconi is Director of Bands and Orchestras and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Towson University. Conductor of the Towson University Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra, he also teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting, methods of teaching instrumental music in secondary education, and is an instrumental music education student teacher advisor. Prior to his arrival in Maryland, Cicconi earned a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami, where he was awarded a Henry Mancini Fellowship and was a student of Mr. Gary D. Green.
As a strong advocate for music education and community outreach, Cicconi is in demand throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and is a sought-after guest conductor, clinician, and guest speaker. Upon his arrival in Maryland, he has appeared as a band and orchestra clinician in well over 100 public and private institutions. As a guest conductor, Cicconi has appeared with All-State, All-Region, and All-County Bands and Orchestras in numerous states around the country including Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. In the summer of 2018, Cicconi will serve as a guest conductor for the internationally acclaimed Sewanee Music Festival and the New England Music Camp.
As an active scholar, Cicconi’s agenda includes wind repertoire and other current music education topics such as score study, conducting, and arranging. His most recent publication, ‘The Band Music Handbook, A Catalog of Emerging Band Repertoire,’ has proved to be a valuable resource and essential tool for wind band directors worldwide. As an arranger, Cicconi premiered his transcription of Jonathan Leshnoff’s ‘Rush’ in the Fall of 2018 with the Towson University Symphonic Band, which was subsequently published by Theodore Presser Company. Since then, it has received numerous performances nationwide in university and conference settings, including a performance at the college Band Directors National Association Southwest Regional Conference. Furthermore, he has presented professional development workshops for schools as well as state and regional conferences throughout the state and region.
Previously, Cicconi served as Director of Bands at Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Power Ranch Elementary and Middle School (Higley, AZ), and Payne Junior High School (Chandler, AZ). As an orchestra and opera conductor, Cicconi serves as the Music Director of the Young Victorian Theatre Company and has held positions and guest conducting appointments with orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and China. Most recently he served as associate conductor with the Broward Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, and the Walenstein Youth Symphony.
Cicconi completed a Master of Music Education Degree, with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting, from Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (summa cum laude) from Youngstown State University. He is a member of College Band Directors National Association, Florida Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.
Conductor & Music Director