School of Music > About > Featured Profiles > Mike Roylance

Mike Roylance

Alumni, Principal Tuba Boston Symphony Orchestra

Mike Roylance was appointed Principal Tuba of the Boston Symphony Orchestra while finishing his graduate studies at DePaul University in 2003.

He previously attended the University of Miami and received a Bachelor of Arts from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. At Rollins College, he served on the faculty conducting the brass ensemble and directing the Pep Band. Mr. Roylance was also the professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Central Florida.

While in Chicago, Mr. Roylance was in demand as a performer, being invited to play with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He was also the Principal Tuba of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the 2001-02 season. Mike spent the last 15 years as a freelance musician and teacher in Orlando, Florida. He performed on tuba and electric bass in a wide genre of ensembles such as orchestras, chamber groups, Dixie-land bands, big bands and Broadway shows. He was a member of Walt Disney World's Future Corps and principal tuba with the Walt Disney World Orchestra. Mike was also a member of the Rosie O'Grady's Dixie-Land Jazz Band. His career includes performances in Europe and Japan. While in Japan, he performed as a soloist and taught master classes. His European performances have included the Classical Festival Orchestra in Vienna, Austria, and the Sam Rivers Rivbea Jazz Orchestra in Portugal.

Mr. Roylance has studied with such notable players as Connie Weldon, former University of Miami professor; James Jenkins of the Jacksonville Symphony; Bob Tucci of the Bavarian State Opera; Chester Schmitz, formerly of the Boston Symphony; Gene Pokorny of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and, at DePaul, Floyd Cooley, formerly of the San Francisco Symphony.

What were your early experiences with music, and how did they prepare you for your career?
I was fortunate to grow up in central Florida, which had a very strong music education program. I started playing the tuba in sixth grade, after five years of piano. Tuba was my first instrument in school and was sort of chosen for me as I was two weeks late signing up for band! My first and most influential mentor in the tuba world was my first teacher, Claude Kashnig. I began my private lessons with Mr. Kashnig when I was a senior in high school.

What brought you out of the real world to pursue graduate studies at DePaul?
My case was a bit unusual; it took me a total of thirteen years off and on to finish my undergraduate work as I had been working as a professional musician during this time and was finishing my degree at night school. I started DePaul three years later.

My purpose in pursuing a master's degree was to refine my musical skills to a world-class level. DePaul offers a world-class faculty surrounded by the atmosphere of a world-class city. One deciding factor was the opportunity to study with Floyd Cooley [DePaul faculty member and internationally renowned tuba player].