Composer, performer, scholar, and poet Michael Hicks received a DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1984 and has been teaching at BYU since 1985. His chamber and solo works have been performed and recorded by BYU’s University Singers, Concert Choir, and Group for New Music (which he founded in 1987); by other performers around the country (including the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet, the Menlo Brass Quintet, and the Memphis Symphony Brass Quintet); and by solo artists at events of the American Society of University Composers, Cincinnati Composers Guild, and the Subtropics Music Festival. His chamber music may be heard on the CDs Found Horizon (1994), Late Conversations (1996), and Ritual Grounds (2003), all on the Tantara label, which in 2007 also issued his singer-songwriter album Valentine St. His solo performances range from the Utah premiere (2006) of Morton Feldman’s Palais de Mari to folk concerts for the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (performed at various locations in Utah and Colorado, 2008).
Hicks is the author of three books: Mormonism and Music: A History (1989), Sixties Rock: Garage, Psychedelic, and Other Satisfactions (1999), and Henry Cowell, Bohemian (2002), all published by University of Illinois Press, which in 2012 will also publish his book co-authored with Christian Asplund entitled Christian Wolff. His historical and analytical articles have appeared in books such as the Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Mormonism as well as journals that include American Music, Journal of Aesthetic Education, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Musical Quarterly, and Perspectives of New Music. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley and has read papers at various national conferences (including UCLA's multidisciplinary Conference on American Studies Connecting with Religion, 1991) and national meetings of the Society for American Music and the American Musicological Society.
He has twice won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award (1994 and 2003) for his writing about music and a third time as editor of the journal American Music, a post he held from 2007–2010. His poetry, meanwhile, has been published in Dialogue, BYU Studies, Literature and Belief, Sunstone, and in the anthologies Cadence of Hooves (2008), New Poets of the American West (2010), and Fire in the Pasture (2011).