Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Michael Muller
Mr. Muller was born on September 5th, 1968 in Syracuse, NY. Living in Liverpool, his family moved to Batavia, NY when he was 1.
Mr. Muller attended Robert Morris Elementary in Batavia where he started Trombone in 4th Grade. He played in the Instrumental Music Program in the Batavia City School District from then until 1987 when he graduated. In Batavia he participated in Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Field Band (Halftime shows for HS Football Games), Pit Orchestra (for Musicals), and Marching Band (for parades). He was Trombone section leader in 6th Grade, 8th Grade and 10th-12th Grades. The band program participated in annual concerts, homegame football field shows, The Batavia Pageant of Bands Parade, and competitions out of town. When Mr. Muller was in Middle School the band traveled to Springville, NY in his 7th Grade year, Gorham, NY in 8th Grade, Winchester, VA in 9th Grade, Sherburne, NY and the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY in 10th Grade, Mt. Morris, NY in 11th Grade and Hershey, PA and Mt. Morris again, in 12th Grade. Each year the marching band in Middle and High School also participated in the Batavial Memorial Day Parade, and spring carnival parades for St. Joseph's Church (Batavia), Stafford, NY Fire Dept. and Caledonia, NY Fire Dept.
In 1987 Mr. Muller was accepted to study Music Education at both Harwick College and The Crane School of Music at Potsdam College. He chose Crane. At Crane he studied Trombone in the studio of Dr. Mark S. Hartman. At Crane, as well as all his classes for Music Education, he performed in Symphonic Band, The Crane Trombone Ensemble,Jazz 3, Jazz Band, Reniassance Band (on the sackbut which is the historical ancestor to the trombone), and Opera Orchestra (for the production of The Mikado). He also joined Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (The Professional Music Fraternity for Men) and M.E.N.C (Music Educator's National Conference) the national organiaztion of music teachers. As an MENC student member, he attended the New York State "All State Conference" each November/December which was then held at The Concord Resort, in The Catskills. Mr. Muller's biggest honor at Crane came in the fall of 1989 when he won the annual contest, to be the Symphonic Band's "Student Conductor", presented each semester by Dr. Rebeccah Covell the Band's Director. The result was his rehearsing and directing The William Byrd Suite in that Fall's concert. Mr. Muller completed his student teaching in the fall of 1991 in The Oneida City School District being directed by Mr. Thomas Mirante (who was once the director of bands at Port Leyden HS many years ago) and Cynthia Rinaldo. He graduated from Crane at the end of that semester and participated in the graduation ceremony in May of 1992.
Mr. Muller spent much of 1992 and 93 as an "on call substitute teacher". In the mean time he also got more active in his church and community, being the handbell choir director for St. Mary's Church in Batavia, as well as a regular choir member, a singer in the Batavia Chapter of the Barbershop Chorus Association, Trombonist for The Genesse Symphony, and in the Brockport/Caledonia/Kendall Fire Department Marching Bands. He had also participated with some of those organizations in High School and College (during Summers/Breaks). He lived in Glenfield for a year participating in the choir at St. Peter's in Lowville, and the Adirondack Community Chorus.
In the spring of 1994 he was married at Sacred Heart Church in Cicero, NY. Not having luck with "finding that first job" he and his wife (also a music educator) attended a job fair in South Carolina. Both were offered jobs, but they were not near each other. They chose her job to accept since it was a better situation. They seittled in Kingstree, a small rural-like town in Williamsburg County. Kingstree and Williamsburg County were one of the richest areas of South Carolina in decades past with tobacco and cotton marketing, but in the 1950s and 60s things would change as those markets became not as dominant and the newly constructed I-95 bypassed the area. Mrs. Muller's job was at the best Elementary School of the Williamsburg County District; Greeleyville, a town even smaller than Kingstree. Mr. Muller finally landed his 1st actual job at Anderson Primary and Kingstree Elementary Schools. At Anderson he taught Music 1-3 and 3rd Grade Chorus. At Kingstree El, he taught Beginning Band. The next year (1995) was his big break. He became the Music Teacher (Instrumental, Vocal, and General K-8) and also the Elementary Spanish Teacher for St. Anthony's Catholic School in Florence, SC. He would be there for the next 5 years. At. St. Anthony's Mr. Muller Directed a Beginning (any beginners in grades 4-8) and Middle School Band (any in 5-8 who had already played a year as beginners). Vocally he had an Elementary (1-4) and Middle School (5-8) Chorus. His Christmas Concerts at St. Anthony's included not only the Bands and Choruses, but also each Elementary Grade (K-4) singing 2 songs each. In the spring, the bands played, but the chorus students performed not only some chorus numbers, but also a spring musical. Mr. Muller was the Music Director, and the drama teacher directed the acting/staging. Each year his Middle School Band students attended a weekend long festival of bands from private and parochial schools. It was run similar to an All-County Festival, with guest conductors, held each year in at the Performing Arts Center in Sumter, SC. Each year the St. Anthony students did very well in seat placement in either the "Concert" or "Honor" Bands that made up the performance of the festival. The Middle School Band and Chorus also attended the annual South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) ajudication festival at the University of South Carolina Music School in Columbia, performing for judges, similar to "NYSSMA Majors" in NY. The Middle School Chorus participated in the annual Florence City/County Complex Tree Lighting Ceremony in December and got great reviews each year from civil leaders and others. The biggest highlight for the Middle School Chorus came in 1998 when they traveled to Nashville, TN to be a part of the America Sings Festival put on by World Reknowned Vocal Music Educator/Composer/Publisher John Jacobsen. Groups from many southern states were in attendance. Mr. Muller directed the students in their own program, and they also participated in a "mass-chorus", choreographed by Mr. Jacobsen, of all the students assembled in the hill in front of the state capitol building.
In the spring of 1999, Mr. and Mrs. Muller gave birth to their first child. After one more year in South Carolina it became harder to travel the 19hrs on the road to visit family each summer and Christmas time, with a baby. At the same time, their apartment seemed "smaller". At the same time, New York was having many teacher retirements all over the state, in almost all areas of education. Mr. Muller still had his NY Certification. With the dawn of the new "internet", papers in NY were posting classifieds for jobs. The teaching field was flooded with adds. The website that seemed to cover regions "all over NY State" was that of the Syracuse Herald Journal/Post Standard. Mr. Muller calls the summer of 2000 "The Summer of The Busses". Each week, well into early August, he was riding Greyhound Busses up to NY, to go into areas for a string of interviews. After about 10 interviews, in which he came "close", it seemed like he, Mrs. Muller, and Matthew were looking to stay in South Carolina, as August was moving on, and the SC schoolyear was beginning. Then, at the end of August, after a busy week of school, on a Friday night, they returned from dinner out to find their answering machine flashing. It was The Adirondack Central School District. They had a "late retirement" and were basically offering him the position. The position was just Middle School Chorus, so at first Mr. Muller was hesitant, as he was actually looking for Band jobs. Then came the bonus, a job for Mrs. Muller as well; 2 openings. Mrs. Muller's NY Certificate had run out, BUT at the time, NY was offering renewals, as long as the person would actively seek the completion of their Masters. In SC, a Masters was not required. You had to take 6 credits every 5 years to keep your SC Certificate.
Mr. Muller moved into the South Lewis Central School District in the Fall of 2002. In the meantime he and his wife also gave birth to 2 daughters. He took over an Elementary Band program that had lost many members. With the help of the High School Director, Mr. McCall, who taught the Elementary program some years ago, when the numbers were higher, Mr. Muller was able to recruit and maintain a good number of members for grades 4 and 5. After a successful first year, the Administration was eager to see the Beginners play on the stage even as early as the following December. In order to do so, Mr. Muller reinstated the old "Band Camp" to get new beginners assembling and starting to play on their instrument before the coming school year began. For the next number of years the Elementary December Concert included the "Beginnng" Band and "2nd Year Band" seperately. In the spring they would play as one full "Elementary Band". One more thing that Mr. Muller reinstated from the past was a day trip. Mr. Muller chose the Trills and Thrills Music Festival in Lake George. The students perform for a panel of 2 judges at North Warren High School (the annual host). They earn points that gives them a rating "Superior", "Excellent" etc... They also receive important written and recorded feedback that indicates how the program is progressing. The rest of the day is spent "celebrating the year" at Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George. Mr. Muller has also had a number of his students participate in the Spring NYSSMA In-House Solo Festival. Most years, 1 or 2 of his students have been chosen for the Jefferson/Lewis Elementary Bi-County Band.
In the fall of 2012 South Lewis moved its 5th Grade up to The Middle School, restructuring its program to begin seperately as 4th Graders in the Elementary and start Full Band only in 5t Grade. Now, as "The 5th Grade Band Director", Mr. Muller is able to maintain the same opportunities for his students that he did when down in the Elementary Schools.