Faculty Q&A: Mr. Gallagan

Faculty Q&A: Mr. Gallagan

HUDSON, N.H. -- In early March, Alvirne High School choral director, Michael Gallagan, was named a finalst for the 2024 New Hampshire American Choral Directors Association Director of the Year award, as announced by the association. 

The award recipient is set to be announced at the Spring New Hampshire Music Educators Association All-State conference on April 5. 

We were able to catch up with Mr. Gallagan recently to chat about the honor as well as his experience at Alvirne and in the world of fine arts.

Q: How long have you been at Alvirne and how long have you been working in music?

A: This is my 9th year at Alvirne although two years prior to my arrival as a teacher here, I was the accompanist for the choirs. I’ve been involved in music for as long as I can remember. From an early age, I was singing in choirs and playing piano. Music is definitely something that has been part of my day-to-day life and I feel very blessed to be able to make a living creating music both as a solo performer and as an educator.  


Q: Was there anything in particular that made you want to be a choral director?

A: I actually grew up in a very musical household. My dad plays piano and my mom is a singer and a music educator herself. When I was in high school, education was something that I was continuously intrigued by for a career. In fact, for a while I thought I was going to be an English teacher. However, as my skills and passion for music increased throughout my high school tenure, music education made more and more sense. 


Q: How have you seen Alvirne’s program grow during your time there?

A: One of my biggest prides as a music educator in this district has been to see how my students have been able to emotionally invest in the music that they perform. If you come to an Alvirne Chorus concert, there is no doubt that these students love to sing and perform for an audience. It’s a complete joy to see that in the faces of students who may otherwise be shy, quiet and somewhat reserved. I’ve also been extremely proud of the way our students have represented our program at events like Jazz All-State and Classical All-State. Alvirne consistently has the biggest representation at these events of any other school in the state and that’s a testament to the hard work that our students put in. It has definitely garnered a positive reputation for our program. 


Q: What does this type of recognition from the New Hampshire ACDA mean to you?

A: I have a great deal of respect for my fellow colleagues that have been nominated along side me for this recognition. To be regarded in the same class as people to whom I hold in such high regard sincerely means a lot to me. 


Q: Are there any other performances away from Alvirne that you have helped with recently?

A: As I mentioned before, I’m very lucky to be able to have a professional career in music outside of what I do at Alvirne. I am the Music Director at Main Street United Methodist Church in Nashua, I direct Boston Jazz Voices in Massachusetts, and I’ve been hired to sing with community groups such as the Nashua Choral Society and the Pemigewasset Choral Society. I also perform as a jazz vocalist and pianist throughout the region on the weekends. I’ll even be performing a tribute to Frank Sinatra with the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist in May.  


Q: What would you say is the most rewarding thing about what you do?

A: I would say the most rewarding part of what I do is the relationships that I have built with students over the years. I am fortunate to be able to work with students over their four years at the school and It’s always a pleasure to work with students and have that rapport with them. It’s also rewarding to see students after they have graduated. Sure I have a number of students who have gone into music after they graduated from Alvirne and have been quite successful. However, I’m equally inspired and proud of students who took the skills and love they have for music and used that in other aspects of their careers and passions. 

Mr. Gallagan would also like to mention that Cabaret 2024 is this weekend at Alvirne! Shows are set for Saturday at 1 pm and 6 pm as well as Sunday at 1 pm. Tickets can be purchased at this link.