- Academic Studies | Electronic & Produced Music
- Head of Electronic Music and Music Technology
Mike Roberts studied composition, piano and electronic music at the University of York under Prof. John Paynter, Prof. David Blake and Dr. Richard Orton.
His professional debut as a composer was with the Jim Henson Organisation, in association with Tyne Tees Television, writing music for a new children’s Muppet series, The Ghost of Faffner Hall, featuring guests Nigel Kennedy, Bobby McFarren, and Joni Mitchell. In that same year he worked as a pianist with The London Contemporary Dance Theatre.
Mike has written and produced music for a wide range of clients including BBC TV, BBC Radio, ITV, Pace Productions, Warner Chappell, Warner Classic, Universal, SPA Films, KTel, Focus Music, Stock Music, Brook Lapping, Telemagination, The Salvation Army and CNN. Whilst working predominantly in commercial music, Mike has some notable successes in the concert hall: in 2004 his electro acoustic composition Birds of the Air was featured as part of Oxford University’s The Composer Speaks series and in his experimental score Cyberscape was premiered as part of the BBC’s John Cage festival at the Barbican Centre, London.
For two years Mike was the Studio Director of Heatham House Recording Studios in West London, set up to work predominantly with young people in education projects. This led to an involvement with music education generally. After some initial experience teaching GCSE Music at Christ’s School, Richmond and conducting music workshops at Clarendon School for Children with Special Needs, Richmond, he started teaching Electronic Music part-time at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1991 before taking on a more time consuming role as Course Director for the BTEC National Diploma in Popular Music at Chichester College of Arts, Science and Technology in 1992. Leaving Chichester in 1994, Mike took on the direction of the Electronic Music Studios at the Guildhall School and became an examiner and advisor for London Examinations Music Technology A-level between 1995 and 1998.
Since 1998 Mike has led several major education projects in schools resulting in the production of large-scale collaborative compositions, working with organisations such as the Wigmore Hall and Stour Valley Arts. He regularly directs music for the Barbican Silent Film series working on legendary films such as Hoyt’s The Lost World, Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon and Hitchcock’s The Lodger.
In 1999 Mike founded, and became Artistic Director of, the award winning jazz-gospel ensemble The Still Time Band. Under Mike’s direction the band’s performance portfolio includes the Edinburgh Festival, the Salisbury International Arts Festival, Lambeth Palace, Westminster Central Hall, Greenbelt Arts Festival, London’s Dorchester and Edwardian Hotels, BBC Television and Radio.
Mike is currently Head of Electronic Music & Music Technology at the Guildhall School, a busy freelance composer, the Artistic Director of ICMUS (Inspire Community Music) and a freelance pianist and fixer. His current project, in collaboration with The William Morris Gallery, is a 90 minute children’s musical adaptation of Morris’ The News from Nowhere with Dan Cruickshank narrating.
Mike lives in South Cambridgeshire with his wife, Sarah, two young children and a dog.