The seventh and current conductor for Symphony North is Michael Astwood. Mr. Astwood retired from Texas public school teaching in 2013. Over the course of 35 years, he taught a variety of music courses, including orchestra, band, music theory, elementary strings, general music, and class piano. He returned to teaching in the fall of 2016, working half time as the Advanced Placement music theory instructor and assistant orchestra teacher at Kingwood High School.
Mr. Astwood has one publication to his credit – the orchestral transcription of the Clifton Williams Paso Doble “Laredo.” In 2007, he was listed in that year’s edition of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” The following year, the Clear Creek High School Orchestra, under his direction, was named “Best Orchestra” in a high school musical at that year’s TUTS “Tommy Tune” Awards.
Mr. Astwood has a long association with community and semi-professional orchestras. He played string bass in the Lubbock Symphony and the Pasadena Philharmonic, and served as guest conductor of the Kingwood Pops for their 2010 “Fiesta” concert. Mr. Astwood was also the founder and conductor of the Kingwood Camerata Orchestra (2011-13.) Mr. Astwood holds the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Texas Tech University. His post-collegiate conducting instructors were Gary Lewis and Bruce Woods. He is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association.