Welcome to the website of

Michael Elyard

Bachelor and Master of Music, West Virginia University, 1980, 1983

Pianist, US Air Force Bands, 1985-2002

USAF Paralegal, 2002-2005

MSgt, US Air Force (Retired)

Church Organist/Pianist



About Me

Welcome to my website. I am a pianist, organist, and composer/arranger with a lifelong love of traveling and exploring.

Born and raised in Clarksburg, WV, I graduated from high school in 1976 and attended West Virginia University. Afterwards, I taught piano for two years before enlisting in the US Air Force Band program in 1985. I also married my sweetheart, Beth, that year as we moved to our first assignment in Hampton Roads, Virginia. We recently celebrated our 35th anniversary. Spencer joined us in 1990, shortly after our move to Alaska. Returning to Nebraska in 1996, we enjoyed the Midwest until being re-assigned to the US Air Force Band of Europe in Germany from 2000-2003. Afterward, we returned to Illinois, where I retired from the USAF in 2005.

I taught piano and served as Music Director/Organist/Pianist at two churches in Illinois until 2008, when we moved back to West Virginia. Spencer graduated from WVU in 2013 (double major – Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering). He is currently employed by the US Navy as an aerospace engineer (civilian). We were blessed in 2020 when Spencer and his lovely wife, Lauren, welcomed our grandson Owen into world. Our visits have been limited due to COVID-19, but we enjoy weekly video chats. Watching Owen grow his first year reminds us so much of Spencer in Alaska.

In December 2013, we moved into our 13th home. After 30 years traveling the world, Beth and I are back in Morgantown, WV. We have kept busy fixing up a nice vegetable garden and several flower gardens for Beth. We enjoy watching over a dozen different types of birds out our patio window, as well as the numerous deer, rabbits, and squirrels that inhabit the woods behind our home. We also enjoy the company of our neighbor’s super-friendly cat (who also enjoys watching the birds!)

Beth and I both “retired” from our office jobs in April 2018. I continued to serve as the organist at Wesley United Methodist Church in Morgantown, WV until retiring in April 2021. I enjoyed leading the congregation in music worship every Sunday in the company of many talented musicians.

Retirement frees up more time for us to travel. Part of that travel involves our 3-year project to photograph and document over 1,000 historical markers in West Virginia. We began in March 2021 and have completed approximately 1/3 of the list. Join us and learn more about WV!

Featured Links

Music Page Here you will find information about my music, featuring the Christmas Cantata “Is He?” – written in 2010 and first performed at Central United Methodist Church in Fairmont, WV. I have also added informal recordings of some gospel and jazz/pop favorites made right at home. There are also links to some of my favorite music and musicians. Hope you find some music to enjoy!

Family Page This includes links to dozens of trips around the US and West Virginia, including driving to Alaska in 2007 (our second time driving there!), Acadia National Park and New England in 2015, and a month-long drive cross-country to visit several National Parks in the Southwest in 2019.

Alaska Page – We were stationed in Alaska with the Air Force Band from 1989-1996. At first, we volunteered for one tour, but we liked it so much we stayed for 7 years. Spencer was born there. I was able to travel to remote parts of the state with the band, and many places with the family. We drove (yes, drove!) back there to visit for our summer vacation in 2007. Lots of great memories there!!

Europe Page While I was assigned to the USAF Band of Europe in Sembach/Ramstein AB, German (2000-2003), our family was fortunate to travel to many locations throughout Europe, including places that had been behind the “Iron Curtain” just a few years before. Come explore Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia, Slovakia, Bosnia, and more.

West Virginia Markers Project Join Beth and me on the ultimate West Virginia road trip as we photograph and catalogue over 1,000 historical marker across the state of West Virginia! It’s a great opportunity to explore and learn about the turbulent history of West Virginia (the only state born out of the Civil War).

Motorcycle Page (Formerly my RidingWV website) It’s not just for fellow riders, but anyone interested in exploring parts of America you might not otherwise see! I try to venture off the beaten path and explore new areas. There is a great America out there just beyond the nearest interstate off-ramp. Go explore!!! Break the national fast-food chain habit and try some of the great family diners around the state!

Miscellaneous Page It’s a little bit of everything else!

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