Composing the Portrait of Youth

By Ruth Augustin '15
Published Friday, August 14, 2015

At a very young age Michael Anderson '10 began writing music. Lucky for him, he grew up in South Florida where he was not too far from Lynn University. One day, while playing music for his uncle, everything fell into place. Before he knew it he was playing a piece that he wrote for Roberta Rust. Soon after, Anderson began studying under her. He was only twelve years old, but he had always been a musician. When it came time to choose a college, he wanted to continue studying with Rust so he applied to Lynn.

Anderson studied under Rust and Thomas McKinley, who began the composition department, which allowed Anderson to change his major from piano performance to composition. Anderson continued to grow and learned a great deal from those who taught him. Like everyone else in the conservatory, he spent many hours in the practice room. Anderson said, “Lynn was a very rigorous time to hone in my skills as a musician. I spent most of my time working with other musicians or composing music on my own.” Since then, Anderson received his master’s degree in composition from the School of the Arts in North Carolina and has become an amazing composer with a unique portfolio.


He was constantly encouraged to find musical gigs outside of school and to develop connections within the community in creating music. That’s exactly what he is doing now in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he resides. He is the Composer in Residence at Redeemer Presbyterian Church where he composes music for the church, annually; while also helping with worship leading on Sunday. One could say that he is following in his parent’s footsteps. Ironically enough, Anderson’s parents met through worship leading. Although they were not serious about the music they played; they were enough of an influence to encourage Anderson to be a part of a worship team. 

Anderson will be holding a concert for his new album, Portrait of Youth. On August 16, 2015 at 3pm, if you find yourself at Graylyn Estate in Winston-Salem, NC then be sure to experience it. The town in Winston-Salem may be small, but he loves to give his music to the people in different ways. Whether it is by a gig or hosting a concert at the church. It is not about making money for him. Being local means more than anything to him. It means that the community is not just listening to someone they heard on the radio, but they get to meet him and hear about his life in a different way. For Anderson, “Music is more than just being an entertainer, it is about giving yourself to the music and people around you.”