Division: Composition & Theory
Office: E-555 HFAC
Composer, performer, scholar, and poet Michael Hicks received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984 and has been teaching at BYU since 1985. His chamber and solo works have been performed and recorded by BYU’s University Singers, Concert Choir, and Group for New Music (which he founded in 1987); by other performers around the country (including the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet, the Menlo Brass Quintet, and the Memphis Symphony Brass Quintet); and by solo artists at events of the American Society of University Composers, Cincinnati Composers Guild, and the Subtropics Music Festival. His chamber music may be heard on the CDs Found Horizon (1994), Late Conversations (1996), and Ritual Grounds (2003), all on the Tantara label, which in 2007 also issued his singer-songwriter album Valentine St. His solo performances range from the 2006 Utah premiere of Morton Feldman’s Palais de Mari to folk concerts for the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (performed at various locations in Utah and Colorado, 2008).
Hicks is the author of four books: Mormonism and Music: A History (1989), Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions (1999), Henry Cowell, Bohemian (2002), and Christian Wolff* (2012), all published by University of Illinois Press. He is currently authoring a fifth book, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography (forthcoming 2015).
His historical and analytical articles have appeared in books such as the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Mormonism, as well as journals such as American Music, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Musical Quarterly, and Perspectives of New Music. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, and has read papers at various national conferences (including UCLA’s multidisciplinary Conference on American Studies Connecting with Religion, 1991) and national meetings of the Society for American Music and the American Musicological Society.
Dr. Hicks has twice won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award (1994 and 2003) for his writing about music, and a third time as editor of the journal American Music, a post he held from 2007–2010. His poetry, meanwhile, has been published in Dialogue, BYU Studies, Literature and Belief, Sunstone, and in the anthologies Cadence of Hooves (2008), New Poets of the American West (2010), and Fire in the Pasture (2011).
*Co-authored with Christian Asplund
503 Aesthetics course outline
Serialism and Comprehensibility
Taking Down Smokey Joe’s Cafe at BYU
NewMusicBox Interview with Michael Hicks
Peter McMurray Interview with Michael Hicks, June 2005 (pdf)
Hicks on Records, August 2006
Performance of Morton Feldman’s Palais de Mari
Little-Known Pioneers of the School of Music (A Parody)
Interviews with Cage and others
Felt Hammers – The Complete Solo Piano Works
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir: A Biography
The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism
DMA, Music Composition, University of Illinois, 1984
MM, Music Composition, University of Illinois, 1981
BM, Music Composition, Brigham Young University, 1980
Score Analysis (Music 595)
Aesthetics (Music 503)