Michael van Dongen is a conductor, violinist, arranger and teacher. He has been the conductor of the Junior Niagara Youth Orchestra string ensemble, and violin coach for both the JNYO and NYO since 1998. He earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at McMaster University in Hamilton.
In 1994, Michael began teaching with Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music in the District School Board of Niagara, as an Itinerant Music Instructor, where he is the conductor of three string orchestras. Michael had the pleasure of conducting two very large and very full orchestras and a beginning concert band at the Instrumental Music programs workshops in 2008. Since 2003, Michael has been conducting the pit orchestra at the Dalhousie Drama and Music Camp.
In the year 2000, Mr. van Dongen started a fiddle group called “No Strings Attached.” The fiddle group, which plays mainly celtic music, has performed on many stages including the Starlight Café in Walt Disney World, the Old Triangle in Halifax, and in July of 2008, alongside “No Strings Attached High” (formed in 2006,) on a floating stage at Illuminauqua in Welland.
Michael has been a member of the Niagara Symphony since 1995, playing in the first violin section. In August of 2008, he was a member of the World Rock Symphony Orchestra performing rock music from Britain, at the Fallsview Casino in the Avalon Theatre. He has also performed in orchestras backing up Anne Murray, Smokey Robinson, Wayne Newton, and Regis Philbin. Michael, with his two brothers and father formed the professional group called the “van Dongen string quartet,” which has been performing since 1979.