Michele Fernandez Denlinger is a graduate of Univ of Florida (BME), and FL Int’l Univ (MME). She has served in the public schools since 1989. During her tenure as director at her alma mater (’89-99), the Miami Senior High Marching, Symphonic and Jazz Bands consistently earned top honors and ratings. Her groups have been selected for appearances at the Midwest Clinic (Chicago,IL ’93 & ’98), IAJE (Boston ’94 & NYC ’99), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland ’96), FMEA (Tampa, FL ’94 & ’97), and featured in several national publications.
In 1999, Michele was featured on “CBS Sunday Morning”, Band Director’s Guide and received an outstanding music educator from Downbeat Magazine.
While at MHS (’89-’99) she served as a local arranger/drill writer and pianist in a busy salsa band while earning her MME at F.I.U., where she later served as an adjunct professor. After taking leave to care for family in ‘99, Michele returned to MHS in ’03 to teach English, Special Ed. and tutor Chemistry. In 2007 she returned to teaching band and created award-winning programs at Palmetto MS and Coral Way K-8 Center in Miami, where she was named Teacher of the Year.
Michele is an active district/state level adjudicator/clinician, and has most recently served as the 2020 Tennessee Mid-State HS Jazz Ensemble Conductor, 2019 Florida All-State Conductor MS Jazz Band and frequently serves as a guest conductor for various All-County/Honor Symphonic and Jazz groups. She has appeared as a Midwest Clinic lecturer on rehearsal techniques (’07 & ’16), as well as a frequent FMEA Conference lecturer, clinician for Clark College Annual Festival (WA), and holds a yearly clinician/conductor position for FSU summer camps. She has also served as guest conductor for the Univ of Florida Band Camp and UNC Jazz Festival Adjudicator/Clinician (CO). She is also an active oboist and percussionist in the Miami area.
Michele enjoys arranging/composing music as time allows, and her compositions have been premiered at Midwest, IAJE and All-State stages.
She enjoys boating and traveling with her husband Chad (bio-medical engineer) and her daughter Sara, who is currently a flute performance major at the University of North Texas.
Her late son, Sean, inspired a family memorial project that provided free cleft lip/palate surgery for 1,000 children in Varanasi, India, which, to date- remains the most significant and meaningful endeavor the Denlinger family has ever undertaken.