As President & CEO, Michael Remson leads all aspects of SDYS, including educational and artistic programs, development, marketing, communications, human resources, finance and collaborations with other organizations. Michael seeks to fulfill our vision to make music education accessible and affordable for all, collaborates with the Board of Directors and oversees a diverse team of high-performing staff and faculty.
An accomplished composer, author, educator and administrator, Michael has dedicated more than thirty years to his work as an artist, arts educator and arts advocate.
As a composer and librettist, Dr. Remson has received numerous grants, commissions and fellowships and his works have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe. His operas have been performed by Houston Grand Opera/Opera To Go, Lone Star Lyric Theater Festival, Houston Girls Chorus, Texas Tech University Opera, Abilene Collegiate Opera, and the New York City Opera “Showcasing American Composers” series. Other engagements include the installation SoundForge(with metal smith Gabriel Craig) at The Cameron Museum (Wilmington, NC), Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR) and the Center for Contemporary Craft (Houston, TX). Dr. Remson created the music for two ballets including Collapsible Rhythms with Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch. Dr. Remson also served as Composer-in-Residence with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as recipient of a prestigious award from the Americans for the Arts Foundation (ARTS-USA).
As an arts administrator, advocate and educator, Dr. Remson served for 17 years as Executive and Artistic Director of AFA, Houston’s largest non-profit provider of music education programs for young people. Prior to his service to AFA, Dr. Remson served as CFO and senior consultant at Downey Associates International, a consulting firm based in New York City. At Downey, Dr. Remson facilitated organization development interventions, authored training materials and co-authored human resources strategies for Fortune 500 organizations. As an advocate, he served on the leadership team of Arts Connect, Houston’s collective impact model working to bring arts education to thousands of Houston school-children. Dr. Remson served on the faculty of Houston Ballet Academy, the University of Houston Moores School of Music, Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Remson has published two books on American music, is a contributor to the Grove Dictionary of American Music and has written numerous encyclopedia entries and journal articles.
Dr. Remson grew up in New York City and completed doctoral studies in composition and libretto writing with Grammy Award winning composer Carlisle Floyd and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee. He is an alumnus of New York University, the University of Houston and Carnegie Mellon University.