Path Home Shows 2017 Show Archive March 2017 Show 1710 Mike Misner - Music Techy

Mike Misner - Music Techy

We visit with an accomplished musician who went back to school at Autry Tech so he could continue his life’s passion.
Mike Misner - Music Techy

Mike Misner - Music Techy

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Enid Symphony Center

Show Details

Show 1710: Mike Misner - Music Techy
Air Date: March 5, 2017



Rob McClendon: Well, here’s a little more Enid trivia you may not know. The town of Enid produces more Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches than any other town in the world – even Philadelphia, thanks to workers at Advance Pierre Food Company. Advance Pierre is also the largest producer of school lunch food in the entire United States. Well, Enid is also home to the state’s longest-running symphony. The Enid Symphony Orchestra has played each year since 1905, two years before Oklahoma statehood, which is where we met a gentleman by the name of Mike Misner – an accomplished musician whose life has taken on a different note.

Andy Barth: From the outside of this building, you can hear the Enid Symphony Orchestra – a typical concert warmup. But for one man, it is his life’s passion.

Mike Misner: Music started clear back when I was about 5 years old.

Andy: Mike Misner plays French horn in the Enid Symphony Orchestra and has quite a musical history. But the road to today’s symphony wasn’t always a sweet melody.

Misner: I was offered a full four-year scholarship to Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. And that was to be a music major to pursue a bachelor’s in music education. So I went to Southwestern and had a really good education there. And then after two years I decided, well, I want to get more into the, uh, into the orchestral side of playing.

Andy: Misner auditioned at Indiana University, the top music school in the world, and was accepted.

Misner: But due to financial constraints, you know, and paying out-of-state tuition and all that, I couldn’t afford to go. So I then transferred to Oklahoma State and finished out my degree there. Had a really great time, really great education, wonderful people to work with. And then it came time for graduate school because what I wanted to do more than anything was to be a full-time college music professor.

Andy: A profession that demands a lot time and money just to get started.

Misner: I ended up going to the University of Texas. I received my master’s degree in 1993. And when you apply for college jobs and what not, they say master’s required, but doctorate strongly preferred. So I ended up staying there at the University of Texas for my doctorate in musical arts and was a grad assistant there for a total of five years. And then in 2001, I did finally finish the degree. And then I thought, OK, I’m all set here, you know, and now I’ve got all the degrees, I’ve got all the armament, now let’s go out and get that job.

Andy: But after more than eight years of either no responses, or only part-time positions, Misner says his tune needed changing.

Misner: I was up here in Enid, this is my hometown. I just happened to look down there, and this was in the automotive waiting room, I just happened to look down there where they have the magazines and whatnot, and there was an Autry Tech catalog. And I saw where there was a network administration program. And so I just made the decision that, OK, I was going to come here and learn a new career. And so that’s what I did. I went back to Austin, I said goodbye to everybody, and two weeks later I was up here in Enid.

Andy: Back at home and back in school. Misner began to learn the ins and outs of computers, and IT systems, and once completed with his training, this time the job search was much different because the offers kept rolling in. An agency placed Misner with his current employer, Integris Baptist Health.

Misner: I’m getting more and more responsibilities every day. I’m now on the employee advisory council.

Andy: But what about his passion for music?

Misner: I still have it; I still have it. When I arrived back in Enid, I called Doug Newell, who is the conductor of the Enid Symphony. And I have known Doug for years and years, and I said, “Hey.” I said, “Are you still needing a horn player for the symphony?” And he just said, “Sure.” He said, “Your third horn chair is waiting for you,” just like when I left. So there it was sitting for me, and I have been playing with them ever since and still am, still there.

Andy: And it is here where his heart, his passion and his music have come together. Mike Misner is back in his hometown, making a good living while playing his heart out and still living his musical dream.