Michael Compton, a California native, received a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Arts degree in saxophone performance from California State University-Sacramento and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (Virginia). Dr. Compton currently serves as Director of Bands at Solon Middle School in Solon, Iowa, where he directs four concert bands and two jazz bands. Prior to accepting his current position, he served as Director of Jazz and Woodwind Studies at Cameron University (Oklahoma), Director of Bands at Dickinson State University (North Dakota), and Director of Bands and Music Education at Graceland University (Iowa). He began his career teaching instrumental and vocal music in grades 4 through 12 in the Sacramento, California region where he grew up.
As a performer, Dr. Compton has appeared with a variety of artists including Louis Bellson, Frank Mantooth, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Temptations, and Frank Sinatra, Jr. He currently plays in local ensembles including the Cedar Rapids Jazz Big Band, the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, and the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and Big Band. He is in demand as a guest conductor and has directed honor bands throughout the Midwest including Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota.
Throughout his thirty-two year career, Dr. Compton has been a member of professional organizations such as the Iowa Bandmasters Association; the Jazz Educators of Iowa; the North American Saxophone Alliance; the International Association of Jazz Educators; the Collegiate Band Directors National Association; and the National Association for Music Educators chapters in Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, and California. He has served on state-level music education boards in Iowa and North Dakota and founded the Prairie Winds Concert Band, a regional concert band serving central and western Kansas.
He is married to Andrea Compton, a literacy consultant with the Grant Wood Area Education Association in Cedar Rapids, and they have two sons: Ian and Nathan.