Kurt Tadao Miyashiro

 

1965 -

 

Kurt Miyashiro is director of instrumental music and associate professor in music composition and history at Union College, a position he has held since 2013.  Prior to this appointment he was a teacher at Southeastern Illinois College.

 

Kurt was born in Los Angeles, the son of Franklin S. and Harriet R. Kakazu Miyrashiro. He grew up in Lodi, where he went to Lodi Adventist Academy, graduating from there in 1983, as president of the senior class.

 

He attended Pacific Union College where he completed a bachelor’s degree in music with piano as his performance area and then taught at Mile High Academy in Denver, Colorado, where he met Elizabeth (Beth) Welch, a graduate from Union College and a grade school teacher. Following their marriage in 1992, they taught at Paradise Academy and then at Fresno Adventist Academy, both in California. While living there they completed master’s degrees at California State University in Chico, she in curriculum development and he in music. His thesis was titled The Piper: Fifteen Selections from a Musical Composition.

 

They moved to Lauderdale, Minnesota, where Kurt completed a Ph.D. in music composition at the University of Minnesota in 2005.  His dissertation was writing the music and lyrics for the The Walleye Kid.  Following graduation he wrote the music and assisted with the lyrics for a production of the musical Filipino Hearts, which was premiered in the fall of 2006 by MU Performing Arts in Minneapolis. Rick Shiomi, co-author, observed that "working with Kurt Miyashiro is like stirring a pot and the music just seems to waft up from the broth. As I hear his melodies, the lyrics start flowing, until the music and lyrics form a distinct song."

 

In the fall of 2005, following graduation from MU Miyashiro began teaching at Southeastern Illinois College, where he would teach for the next eight years.  In 2013 he accepted a position at Union College as director of the band and orchestra and assistant professor in music composition and history.

 

In 2014 he was invited to guest conduct a choir composed of 162 students from six academies in Central California for a benefit concert to underwrite expenses for two World War II veterans to travel to see the WW II memorial in Washington D.C.  His father, Frank, who served as a medic in the Army, was present for the concert.

 

The Miyashiros have three children - Tori, a senior at College View Academy, and twins, Andrew and Madaleine. Beth teaches in the public school system.

 

ds/2016

 

Sources: Kurt Miyashiro, 22 May 2016; Lodi Academy graduating class receives diplomas,” 1983 Lodi News-Sentinel, 4 June 1983, 9; “New Employee Introductions,” August 2013, Union College (online); MU graduation program, 2005; Roger W. Tang, “Filipino Hearts opening September 23,”Asian American Theater Review, 2016 (online);  Taneshia Kerr, “Student Choirs Honor WW II Vets,” Pacific Union Recorder, March 2014; Liberty Magazine, May/June 2014; Ancestry.com