Professor Spotlight: Michael Avagliano

Where are you originally from, how did you end up at Drew and how long are you planning to stay here? 

  I’m a Jersey boy, born and raised just a few minutes away in Summit. As a musician, my career has taken me everywhere, from New Jersey to Alaska to Germany and Singapore, but the New York/New Jersey musical scene is still the most vibrant I’ve found. I came to Drew because of the opportunity to conduct and build the Chamber Orchestra, and I don’t have any plans to leave anytime soon! I’m having too good a time watching the orchestra grow and develop.

What courses do you teach this semester?

 I conduct the Drew University Chamber Orchestra, and I teach private lessons on violin and viola.

What do you like most about Drew?

 The students are what make Drew unique. I’m continually awed by the drive and creativity that I see here, and it’s inspiring.

Why should students at least take a class in music?

 There are all sorts of reasons to be involved in music, of course. It exercises your brain like nothing else, and it’s an amazing emotional outlet. Personally, though, the best reason to take a class or join an ensemble is the camaraderie that happens in the music department.

Where is your office and when are the best times to see you?

 Well, technically my office is in room 211 in the DoYo, but you’re much more likely to find me in the Concert Hall or in my teaching studio, room 210. The best time to find me is in the late afternoon, because otherwise I’m either teaching or practicing!

What is one thing you want students to know about you?

  Can’t I stay mysterious? If not, then I’ll say that I’m a sucker for a good metal band. August Burns Red is one that’s on my radar on the moment.
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