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B i o g r a p h y

Dr. Michael Anne Tolan, a native of Avon, Indiana, currently teaches saxophone to children in grades 6 through 12 at the Avon Community School Corporation, in addition to students in the greater Indianapolis area. During the summer and fall months, she works with the Plainfield Marching Red Pride as Woodwind Caption Head.  She serves on the Board of Directors at Elevate Performing Arts, where she is also on the music faculty at Elevate Winds. Dr. Tolan received her DMA from West Virginia University under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Ibrahim. Her doctoral research, "Playing-Related Medical Injuries and Health Conditions in Collegiate Saxophonists: A Survey of Saxophonists in North American Universities," examined whether collegiate saxophonists experience health issues and the necessity of raising awareness among music organizations and saxophonists. Dr. Tolan completed her master's degree while studying under Dr. Paul Bro at Indiana State University. She worked as a graduate assistant and a music teacher for the ISU Community School of Arts in addition to her studies at ISU. She studied under Mr. Scotty Stepp at DePauw University, where she received a BMA in performance and a minor in Instrumental Jazz Studies in 2011. She studied abroad for a semester in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in the Netherlands while attending DePauw. There, she had the chance to work with both Arno Bornkamp and Willem van Merwijk as a student. 


While attending these universities, she performed in multiple quartets, jazz ensembles and combos, and wind ensembles. As an ensemble member, she had the opportunity to work with composers Chen Yi, Joan Tower, Eric Ewazen, and Christopher Theofanadis. She was also part of the recording project Starsplitter as a member of the DePauw University Band under Craig Paré. Dr. Tolan has also had the opportunity to perform works such as Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé, Massenet's Va! Laisse couler Mes Larmes, and Martin's Ballade for Flute with the ISU University Symphony. She premiered Kyle Simpson’s Hennes lyd at the 2018 NASA Biennial and Tachyonic Ripples by Joshua Elmore at the 2016 NASA Biennial.  She also performed at the Gala of the 71st Annual Meeting of American Cleft-Craniofacial Association and in 2013 she performed at the Regional 5 NASA Conference in Bowling Green.


Dr. Tolan believes that music can bring a variety of groups and communities together and is pursuing the concept that music can be embraced by anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, or physical/cognitive capabilities. If you are in the Avon/Indianapolis area and would like to take lessons, please leave her a message here.

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