Being born and raised in Dayton, Ohio was instrumental to Michael’s development and career. Not only has Dayton been the headquarters for WGI Sport of the Arts for several decades, but the close proximity to Indianapolis and Bands of America further encouraged his love of the marching arts.

A musician from an early age, Michael continued his pursuit of music at Carroll HS in Dayton, OH by his involvement not only in the marching band, but every band and musical class that was offered. He continued his involvement after high school and began his teaching career by instructing the band and guard at Carroll. Michael was the guard director and a designer for Carroll HS from 1990 to 1995, and continued to design the band’s drill for many years after. In 2010, Carroll HS inducted Michael into their Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

It wasn’t until after high school that his passion for visual artistry began to evolve. He performed with Pride of Cincinnati winter guard, won a WGI World Championship with State Street Review, and performed with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps for four years in the color guard.

While teaching and performing, Michael earned a degree in Business Administration, with a major in Finance from the University of Dayton. His business career was short lived, however, and in 1992 he made the decision to become self employed doing what he loved in the marching arts.

1992 was a pivotal year for Michael’s career. He started Escapade, an independent world class winter guard that brought audiences to their feet during their four years of existence, was on the design team of Bands of America National Champion Centerville HS, began writing for multiple high school bands, and helped design the drill for The Cavaliers’ first Drum Corps International World Championship.

1997 showcased a couple of important milestones as well. Michael began attending the San Francisco Academy of Art University, earning a Fine Arts degree in Computer Arts/New Media. This was also the year that he returned to Pride of Cincinnati: this time as a designer. This relationship continues to this day.

From 1998 to 2011, Michael Gaines was the drill designer and visual coordinator for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, and served on the design team for all 7 of their Drum Corps International World Championship titles. He currently writes for some of the top high school marching bands and winter color guards in the United States. His designs have been featured by several high school Bands of America National Champions, the most recent being the 2012 BOA Grand National Champion Carmel HS, as well as 4 time WGI World Champion, Pride of Cincinnati, and 2 time WGI Scholastic World Champion, Carmel High School.

In addition to his work in the U.S., Michael has had the opportunity to design for groups internationally, including two time WGI Bronze Medalist Aimachi Color Guard, and three time WGI Bronze Medalist Aimachi Percussion Ensemble from Nagoya, Japan. He has been an adjudicator and the featured clinician at events around the US, Japan, Thailand, The Netherlands, China, Malaysia, and Colombia.

In April of 2007, Michael was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame, and in August of 2011 he was inducted into to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.

Michael currently resides in San Francisco, CA.