Michael Ligon, the Executive Director of Presenting AfroClassical Composers is a seasoned musician, music theory coach, songwriter and music publisher. He has studied piano privately with Pulitzer-prize winning classical composer and world class pianist, Dr. George Walker. He holds a B.S. in Music Education and Performance from Ball State University and a M.A. from Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia.
As a seasoned musician, Mr. Ligon has performed in orchestras backing Ray Charles, Beverly Sills, Ron Carter, Peter Nero, Víctor Borge, and others, and he has performed under the baton of Arthur Fiedler. He has also interpreted a diverse array of songs combining classical, jazz, soul, and adult counterparty styles.
For 20 years in LA, Ligon sang in the Immanuel Gospel Choir, directed by Pastor Alexander Hamilton – Music Director for Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace documentary and celebrated album. He also sang in the West Hollywood Chorale. In his formative years, he sang in the Washington, D.C. Cathedral Choral Society performing such works as Dave Brubeck’s “Gates of Justice” cantata. Mr. Ligon also served as piano accompanist for a network televised White House Presidential Scholars program.
On the orchestral side of performance as a double bassist, Mr. Ligon has played in many orchestras including the Muncie, Richmond, Fairfax, Roanoke Symphonies, the American University Summer Orchestra, the Wolf Trap Youth Orchestra and American Youth Performs Orchestra – a national youth orchestra of musician from across the U.S. who met annually to perform at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He studied with Paul Robinson, Philip Albright, Edward Skidmore and Homer Mensch. Ligon has performed under such distinguished conductors a Maurice Peress, Milton Katims, Victoria Bond, Michael Morgan, and Arthur Fiedler.
As a well-trained coach, Ligon has privately taught piano/music theory and performance techniques for members of the West Hollywood-based Meremblum Youth Orchestra; was faculty member at Washington Preparatory Magnet School for Performing Arts; and visiting faculty at Flintridge Preparatory School, teaching instrumental music, music history and theory.
As a savvy songwriter, Michael has written songs with Stacy Lattisaw, who recorded one of their compositions for Motown Records, and his personal catalog of well-crafted tunes speaks uniquely about love inspiration, hope and joy.
As a respected music publisher/administrator, Michael has represented “This Christmas,” the classic holiday song by Nadine McKinnor and Donny Hathaway; and administered the rights for Larry Dunn – music director of Earth Wind & Fire, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and GRAMMY nominated jazz vocalist Carmen Lundy.
Ligon notes, “With Presenting AfroClassical Composers we offer exciting presentations of brilliant works and composers that have long been absent in many major orchestras and performance ensembles’ repertoire for classical music; this promises a much more inclusive and expansive repertoire of the highest quality, enriching the entire field.”
Photo credit: Alexander Torres © 2019