more about Michael...
Michael has been performing music for most of his life, in a variety of styles. He began learning to play the piano at the tender age of 4, and all through his primary and secondary education, he participated in virtually every opportunity for solo, small ensemble, or large group performance (both vocal and instrumental) that he could find. In college, he continued performing in ensembles, and also began studying the guitar.
He continued to perform on guitar and piano for several years after college, primarily in church settings. However, academic pursuits took him for many years in a direction quite unrelated to music, that of language study. Now, after several years of exploring these academic interests, he has returned to music performance.
Michael's reentry to the music world occurred through classical performance, his first taste of professional work being as the tenor for the Oriana Singers, a 6-voice a capella ensemble in Chicago. This engagement was short-term, lasting only the first half of 2004, but at this point he began to feel that he had found his place, not in the academy, but on stage. He followed this experience with a number of others, working with a variety of choral ensembles including Ars Musica Chicago and the William Ferris Chorale. He also took up his guitar again and began performing at Potbelly Sandwich Works, a Chicago-based restaurant chain.
Most of his current performance work is as a solo performer of acoustic rock. In this context, he accompanies himself primarily on guitar, though he does occasionally use piano when one is available. These performances consist primarily of covers, encompassing a wide range of popular music from the 60s to today. Currently, he plays regularly at a number of Chicagoland Potbelly stores, as well as Cooper's Hawk Winery in Burr Ridge. He also performs on an irregular basis at a number of other Chicago area venues and for private and corporate events.
He maintains some contact with his classical side, primarily by performing with choral ensembles. He is currently a member of the Schola Cantorum Cathedralis at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, and also serves on an ad hoc basis with various Chicago area choral groups, as well as other church and synagogue choirs. He also serves as a solo classical vocalist for weddings and in a variety of church settings.
Michael also composes and performs original songs, following in the tradition of storyteller singer/songwriters such as Jim Croce, John Mellencamp, and Lyle Lovett. These original compositions cover a variety of musical styles, ranging from country to folk to rock. Lyrically, he focuses primarily on storytelling. Rather than autobiographical poetry, his songs give voice to living, if fictional, characters. He sees songwriting as a way to examine the complexity of the real world rather than as a way to air his own dirty laundry or impose his point of view on others. Further, many years of language study have given him a particular appreciation for the complexities of language; he always seeks to embody this in his songwriting, whether by finding novel means to communicate ideas or by employing clever turns of phrase. A CD of his original works, "Come Out to Play," is currently available.
Why "bald guy" music?
© 2010 Michael Beetley. All Rights Reserved.