Artist uses his professional role to expand the arts community in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Bay City native Dr. Matthew Travis recently returned home from the East Coast and is giving back to the community through the performing arts.

“I grew up here,” Travis says. “I went to Central High School — very proud of that fact.”

To read what Travis has to say about why he chooses to live here, click here to read his article.

Travis is the Director of Choral and Orchestral programs for the Midland Center for the Arts overseeing the choirs and the primary administrator for the Midland Symphony Orchestra. Working closely with the conductor and staff for the Center for the Arts, he helps plan out the Midland Symphony Orchestra season and day-to-day operations such as working with the conducting staff to plan rehearsals for choirs and conducts some himself.

Dr. Matthew TravisHe is both founder and Artistic Director of The Mid-Michigan Singers and Voice Academy. Travis is Recognized by Association of Performing Arts Presenters and League of American Orchestras as an emerging administrator and selected for their prestigious national leadership intensives. He serves on the board for Studio 23, served as chair on the Bay County Library Millage Renewal Committee, and is President Elect of the Bay City Morning Rotary.

Travis is passionate about the arts and feels they should be a place for everyone to enjoy, even if enjoyed differently. He describes concerts as communal experiences whether attending a concert as a patron or participating in one.

“We all can work together in whatever level our interest is. But it’s also highly individualized,” he says. “There’s the conductor on the stage, there’s the musicians on the stage, and there’s the audience members in the hall.”

Through collaboration Travis says, people can work together to make a positive atmosphere for everyone. “Everybody has a role to play in the arts regardless of whatever that may be.”

After graduating from Central High School, Travis went on to the University of Michigan to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance and Penn State University for his Master’s in Choral Conducting. While at in Pennsylvania, Travis served as assistant conductor to the Penn State Men's Glee Club by conducting numerous division conferences and both domestic and international tours. He also served as the music director of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. Between 2010 and 2014, he served as the Music Director at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York.

Recently, he completed his doctorate in Choral Conducting at The University of Connecticut. His dissertation was about the Broadway play Hamilton.

 “I got to meet a lot of the creative team and Lin-Manuel Miranda — so that was pretty cool,” he adds.

It was here where he founded and directed the UCONN Men's Glee Club and taught undergraduate courses in conducting and general music. While in Connecticut, Travis served as Music Director for The Kent Singers and as Male Choirs Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Connecticut Chapter of the American Choral Director's Association.

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