Michael Belajonas is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Music at Suffolk Community College in Selden, New York. He is also on the faculty of S.U.N.Y Empire State College and is a performance associate for Hunter College. He is a graduate, Summa Cum Laude, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he studied the Guitar with internationally renown Guitarist Jerry Willard. Michael possesses a Master of Music in Classical Guitar, as well as a Master of Arts in Music Theory-Composition also from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
He has appeared several times as a guest lecturer at the Long Island Classical Guitar Festival held annually at Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus. He is the author of over seventy arangements for Guitar Ensemble including several original compositions which have been premiered by the Suffolk Community College Guitar Ensemble and performed by such diverse groups as the University Ensemble of the College of William and Mary and the Guitar Orchestra of the Tidewater Classical Guitar Society. He has most recently performed in productions for the Long Island Masterworks and in the world premiere of his own composition "The Seventh Circleo,” a trio for Flute and Two Guitars in three movements, at the historic Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.
As director of the Guitar Ensemble of Suffolk Community College, from 1993-2011 he promoted several “Concerts for a Cause" which, in connection with several local Churches, raised funds to build a medical clinic in Furcy, Haiti, provide a fresh water well for the village of Milot, Haiti, create a self sustaining Talapia Hatchery in Guatamala, and, later with atumni student volunteers known as the “Compassionate Scholars", send much need medical aid to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake.
His endeavors as a freelance guitarist have afforded him the opportunity to perform in various settings including Merkin Hall, The Staller Center for The Performing Arts, as an Aranjuez Concert Artist at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall, and as a guest on concert series sponsored by various local Arts Councils at various venues. Michael has been recognized three times for excellence in teaching, being awarded inclusion into the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Editions of Who's Who Among America's Teachers. In recognition of Excellence in Academic Achievements, Michael was awarded membership in the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. He is a member of The Guitar Foundation of America, The College Music Society, and has served as an Advisory Board Member toThe Long Island Classical Guitar Society. He has participated in Perfomrance Workshops, Clinics, and Master Classes in various styles of playrng, learning from such diverse artists as Jerry Willard, Howard Morgen, and Robert Fripp to name only a few. Michael performs on Guitars lovingly crafted by R.J. DiCarlo. Hear examples of Michael's playing at www.DiCarloGuitars.com.