Michael Woods

Michael Woods
Michael Woods

Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Music

List Arts Center 236

“Doctuh" Michael Woods has written more than 700 compositions in styles that include choral, orchestral and chamber works, and jazz combo and big-band charts. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Salt City Jazz Collective and the central New York Jazz Orchestra. Woods is director and bassist for the Zoe Jazz Band, and bassist for the Omniverse jazz ensemble. Both groups perform his compositions. He majored in composition and minored in string bass at Indiana University (M.M.), and the University of Oklahoma (D.M.A.) and was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in composition from Oklahoma.

Recent Courses Taught

Music Theory
Sight Singing and Ear Training
Composition Seminar
Jazz Arranging
African-American Popular Music
Choral Arranging
Jazz Improvisation
Composing and Arranging – graduate level
History of Jazz
Composition Seminar
Music of the 20th Century
Jazz Since 1950

Selected Publications


  • Albany Symphony: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
  • Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble
  • Pro Musica Orchestra, Columbus, Ind.
  • Lafayette Symphony, Lafayette, Ind.


  • Erie Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Midland Symphony Orchestra
  • Utica Symphony
  • Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Little Rock Symphony
  • Anderson Symphony


  • Mary Anderson Centre for the Arts

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of University Composers
  • Society for New Music
  • Center for Black Music Research
  • American Composers Forum
  • International Society of Bassists
  • Black Jazz Caucus
  • International Association of Jazz Educators
  • National Jazz Service Organization
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
  • National ACT-SO adjudicator – NAACP
  • International COGIC

Appointed to the Faculty: 1993

Educational Background

D.M.A., University of Oklahoma
M.M., Indiana University
B.M., University of Akron

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