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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
October 24, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Michael Kearns

Contract Academic Staff; Trombone Techniques

Contact Information

Office Location: A206


Michael Kearns completed a Doctor of Music Education degree at Indiana University, with minors in Jazz Studies and Trombone Pedagogy. He received an Applied Diploma in Jazz Studies at Mohawk College, a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami, FL. Kearns is also on faculty with Laurentian University, Seneca College, and Georgian College. He has previously taught music at other post-secondary institutions, Indiana University and Mohawk College, and at the elementary and secondary level. Kearns has designed and implemented a variety of music curricula, ranging from Canadian Popular Music to Theories of Music, Movement, and Dramatic Play to Arranging for Instrumental and Vocal Groups. His research focuses on Canadian jazz and popular music and the lives of the artists and educators who define this scene. Kearns’ dissertation on Canadian post-secondary jazz education is available for free download at

Michael Kearns conducts the After Hours Big Band in Newmarket, ON. This community jazz band has surpassed anyone’s expectations and is starting to play local jazz festivals in the GTA. Kearns is a versatile trombonist who plays the lead and jazz chair in the George Lake Big Band, in addition to subbing in Toronto’s many concert bands, orchestras, and Broadway shows. He has had the fortune of working with many jazz legends, such as David Baker, Phil Nimmons, Ian Finkle, and David Braid, and has performed at many top venues and music festivals, such as Carnegie Hall, Hugh’s Room, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and Beaches International Jazz Festival. As a composer and arranger, Kearns writes for various jazz bands, winds ensembles, and popular music groups. This music has been performed by Soulshine, Reason to Live, Indiana University, Southeastern University (FL), and the University of Toronto.