Michael Colburn currently serves as Butler University’s Director of Bands, a position he has held since August, 2014. In addition to conducting the Butler University Wind Ensemble, he offers instruction in conducting, euphonium, and the history and literature of the wind band. Before coming to Butler, Colburn served for 27 years in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, where he held a variety of positions including Principal Euphonium (1991-1996), Assistant Director (1996-2004), and Director (2004-2014). As Director, Colburn was music advisor to White House and regularly conducted the Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra at the Executive Mansion and at the Presidential Inaugurations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama He was promoted to Colonel by President Bush in a private Oval Office ceremony in 2007, and in 2014 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by Gen James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Medal of Honor by the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic Board of Directors.
Colburn is an active guest conductor and clinician. He regularly conducts bands at numerous state and regional festivals and has guest conducted several professional and university bands and wind ensembles. Committed to the promotion of new music, Colburn has commissioned band works from a number of highly respected composers such as John Williams, Michael Abels, Stacy Garrop, Michael Gandolfi, David Rakowski, and Melinda Wagner. He has served as the chair of the Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Award, and as an adjudicator for the Sudler Award, the Barlow Endowment, Music for All, and the Col. George S. Howard award for excellence in military bands. Colburn has served as a board member of the National Band Association, and currently serves as the Vice President of the American Bandmasters Association, the Vice President for Project Enhancement for the John Philip Sousa Foundation, and is a member of Washington D.C.’s prestigious Gridiron and Alfalfa Clubs.