Michael Wiles has to listen to rehearsals, recordings of past performances, individual singers, and more over and over. He says that the job suits him because of the hours he spends with headphones on analyzing performances and processing them analytically. He says that he wouldn’t have the ear he prides himself in if he hadn’t spent much of his youth listening to what his father listened to: the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash. Michael says that part of the reason he considers musical director his dream job is because of the amount of time he spends listening to music. Wiles would say that his voice wasn’t the refined, coached voice that it is today, so it was probably not a good thing that he sang loud as a young student in Helena, but today he coaches aspiring actors who want parts in musicals. He says that his deep personal relationship with music, especially the music of Broadway, set him on his course to be an actor in the first place. He believes that music is a part of a person’s soul encapsulated in sound. He was especially drawn to musicals even at a young age.
Michael Wiles, as a musical director, takes the study of music seriously. His youth was a study in music and how it affects lives, he says today. Michael has changed his musical taste a bit since his boyhood—he now listens to Stephen Sondheim, Beck, and Adam Levine—but his attitude on the importance of music to his life hasn’t changed a bit. His musical directors in school were always impressed with his large, clear voice that could fill auditoriums.