Prof lives passion in and out of classroom

October 11, 2010 Feature Print Print
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File Photo/Pioneer
Michael Boyle

They say that those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach.

OCCC music professor Michael Boyle defies this truism. Not only can he teach music, but also he can perform it as well, as his weekend gigs as a double bass player in Bricktown attest.

A music professor on campus since 2006, Boyle has been playing music professionally for nearly 35 years.

For the past four years, Boyle has used his experience as a musician to teach his students and fellow musicians who are hoping to make a name for themselves.

“As a professional performer, I always emphasize to my students that they must practice their craft,” Boyle said.

“That means endless practice on their instrument.”

When he isn’t teaching his craft, he spends his time honing it.

In his spare time, Boyle plays bass in a jazz band called The Hal Corn Trio.

Drawing influences from such bassists as Charles Mingus, Dave Holland, Jaco Pastorious, and others, Boyle and the rest of the trio, Hal Corn and Elad Klatz, can be seen on most weekends at nightclubs throughout the metro area.

The Trio’s next performances will be Oct. 22 and 23 at Makers Cigar & Piano Lounge located at 25 S Oklahoma Ave. Suite 108, in downtown Oklahoma City.

While Boyle has played professionally for more than three decades, it’s his teaching that remains a top priority for him.

“I would rather be remembered for the impact I’ve had on my students than the music I’ve made,” Boyle said of his musical legacy.

In addition to playing for The Hal Corn Trio and teaching on campus, Boyle also is the director of two OCCC student jazz bands.

Band members David Traxler, Ryan Miller, and Brittney Ragland had positive reviews for their director.

“He’s hard on us at times,” Ragland said of Boyle.

“He demands a lot. But as musicians, we feel that’s beneficial for our career.”

The rest of the group agreed, adding Boyle would do anything he could to help them succeed, not only as musicians, but also as students.

Boyle said music has provided him with joy for more than 50 years.

His message to students is simple: “Listen to music. Play music. Repeat.”

The OCCC Student Jazz Band can be seen in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the Bruce Owen Theater on the OCCC campus.

Admission is free.

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