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Michael Wolniakowski was born in Chicago in 1974. He studied piano as a child, and during his high school years, fell in love with choral music. He studied organ and composition at Concordia University and published his first work while still an undergraduate.
Since 1996, he has taught vocal music at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois. At LTHS, his responsibilities include curricular choral ensembles, a freshman-level vocal techniques class, a madrigal ensemble and advanced music theory classes. He also was the associate organist and cantor at The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke in Chicago where he studied organ and improvisation with the renowned Paul Manz.
Wolniakowski’s diverse experiences have led him to serve in a variety of roles including conductor, composer, clinician, soloist and accompanist for professional, high school and middle school festivals, as well as for church related events. He is active in the American Choral Directors Association and the Illinois Music Educators Association where he serves as the Honors All-State Chorus Co-Chair.
He has composed a variety of works, although his focus and passion has been vocal music, for which he has won several awards. His choral work Four Shakespearean Songs won the Richard Hillert Award in Composition, and his setting of Adam Lay Ybounden received top prize in the Music Educators National Conference student composition contest.
He completed his graduate and post-graduate studies at Northwestern University and the Royal College of Music in London.