1963 (5-yrs old)

Practicing at home 



Zvolen, Slovakia with Chief Warrant Officer Jaro Hrinak of the Slovakian Military Band  2001

Michael Elyard

Pianist / Organist

 Music Page



Fooling around during sound check and set-up with the USAF Band in Alaska - 1995



Bethel UMC


        Mascoutah, Illinois - 2007



Young 2-striper (Airman 1st Class)  USAF Band     1986 Langley AFB, Virginia

US Air Force Band at Langley AFB, VA


That’s me at the piano to the far left side

US Air Force Band – Langley AFB, Virginia - 1987

Croatia Varazdin concert ME 2.JPG

Croatia -  One of my last European performances with the USAF Band - 2001


Visiting my first piano teacher

Elizabeth Cavallero - 2011








I have served as the full-time organist/pianist at Wesley United Methodist Church in Morgantown WV since November 2012. It is a large but friendly church downtown on High Street at the edge of the WVU campus. The 3-manual pipe organ was built by Wicks Organs of Highland IL, where I taught several piano students before we moved back to WV in 2008. Small world. There is also a very nice 7-foot Kawai grand piano.  The church is full of talented musicians: Dr. Lya Stroupe is the Music Director and is a very talented pianist, and the 30-member choir itself has many trained musicians including John Hendricks, the Director of Bands at WVU and conductor of the WVU Wind Symphony. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There is also a Hand Bell Choir and Praise Team. I look forward to many years of leading the congregation in music worship. 

To see more of Wesley UMC:  http://www.wesleymorgantown.org/      Hope to see you there soon!


At the organ – Wesley United Methodist Church

For more information, please contact me – Click Here

Click Here For:   My Bio     



The Christmas Cantata "Is He?" is scripture-based, and includes a variety of musical styles from 13th-Century plainsong to modern gospel and Latin.  The cantata grew out of the solo piece of the same name, depicting Mary on the night of the birth of Jesus and how overwhelmed she must have felt.  Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart."   All songs are original compositions except for my arrangement of “Of The Father’s Love Begotten”.  Instrumentation is solo piano with optional percussion parts.

View the first section of each piece: 

PDF Documents – You must have Adobe Reader  (free)



Of The Father’s Love Begotten

Journey To Bethlehem

In Bethlehem This Night

Is He?

The Shepherds Rejoice

He Is The King


*** Please note:  All Music Is Copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written permission. 

Thank you. 

Is He?

A Christmas Cantata

by Michael and Beth Elyard

  © 2010



Click on the links below to listen

to the piano accompaniments.



Of The Father's Love Begotten

Journey To Bethlehem

In Bethlehem This Night

Is He?

The Shepherds Rejoice

He Is The King


*** Please note:  All Music Is Copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written permission.  Thank you. 


Vocal scores are available in regular printed format and as a licensed reproducible document where you can make copies for your church's use only (not to be distributed or shared).  If you think your church choir may be interested in performing this cantata or any of the individual pieces, you can order vocal scores for "Is He?" by contacting me at:

    Click Here To Email Me


10 Favorite Hymns of Central United Methodist Church – July 2012

In July 2012, the members of the congregation voted on their favorite hymns. 

After selecting the hymns with the most votes, I researched the background of each hymn and composer. 

Read a short background history on the 10 Favorite Hymns and the composers.

Click Here For Hymns and Narratives



My MP3 Recordings

Selections from Undergraduate Piano Recital (WVU)  1980

Schubert Piano Sonata in F# Minor -   Mvt 1      Mvt 2     Mvt 3    Mvt 4

Claude Debussy Estampes  -  Pagodes        La Soiree dans Granade      Jardins Sous la Pluie


Selection from Graduate Piano Recital (WVU)   1982

George Walker Piano Sonata #1 -    Mvt 1    Mvt 2    Mvt 3


USAF Jazz Band – Langley Air Force Base, VA    (1986-1988) 

Here are selections off the CDs “Here’s One For You” and “6/8 Jazz”.   I was the pianist on both CDs.

(This band is shown on the top of this page, on the 3rd photo from the left)

     Sweet Georgia Brown Upside Down              Fly Me To The Moon          Bag Lady        Georgia       

    Love For Sale         Mama Llama Samba          Nocturne         The Diver          Tico Tico



USAF TAC (Tactical Air Command) Band – Langley Air Force Base, VA    (1988)

Here are selections from “Standard Bearers of Excellence”.   I was pianist and percussionist. 

   Strike Up The Band (Gershwin)           Danse Folatre (Claude T. Smith)        King Karl King (Henry Fillmore)           La Gitana Del Albaicin (Pascual Marquina)

   Fiesta Del Pacifico (Roger Nixon)         The Carousel Waltz (Richard Rogers)           Themes from “Silverado”  (Bruce Broughton)  


USAF Band Of Mid-America  - Scott Air Force Base, IL      (2007)

After retiring, I was asked to be guest pianist for the recording of “Westward Sentinel”.

      Westward Sentinel -   Kim Archer’s tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the St. Louis Arch.


LIVING ROOM RAMBLINGS – Since one of my favorite past-times is just sitting at the piano and improvising gospel/sacred music, jazz classics, and other favorites, I decided to start recording and posting some of these impromptu interpretations.  Nothing is written down, nothing is planned. I just click the "Record" button and see what happens. Hope you enjoy these informal performances. Check back as I add more in coming weeks/months.

Without Seeing You               By and By             What a Friend We Have in Jesus            Wave          I Can't Get Started     

It Might As Well Be Spring       This Masquerade       Doin' Time (an original composition) 


From Mark Hayes' book of hymn arrangements:  Sweet By and By      


When I was at WVU from 1976-1983, I spent a lot of time at the home of a good friend and wonderful musician, Ann Custer (Mayle).  Her parents, Aub and Dorie, treated all of Ann's friends like family.  It must have been like "That 70's Show" when a group of us were there.  Her mom (Dorie) especially liked the theme from the TV show "Taxi".  Her parents have both passed on and I miss them both.   Dorie - this one's for you!

Theme from "Taxi"



Links to some favorite music videos on YouTube and mp3 recordings:

Johnny Costa  - You will recognize the music as soon as he starts playing. He was the pianist for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. 

Virtuoso pianist in the same league as Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum.  Incredibly imaginative!!

Intro to Johnny Costa               Tea For Two (Compare for yourself: Oscar Peterson / Johnny Costa / Art Tatum perform)                     Caravan


Gordon Mote – A truly gifted pianist who has been blind since birth. You see him frequently on Bill Gaither shows.   I wish I could play like him!!!!

Old Gospel Ship            I Know Somebody Who Does (with the Isaacs)          Get Up In Jesus’ Name              If They Could See You Through My Eyes (to his wife)

Wake Up Dancin  (get ready to cry!)         I Can’t Even Walk Without You              


Ernie Haase and the Signature Sound – This group of young men is another standard fixture on Bill Gaither shows.  Talented and energetic!

Get Away Jordan          


Ami Rushes – Great gospel singer.  Pays tribute to Albertina Walker and Rev Timothy Wright.

I Can Go To God In Prayer             Testify          Holy Ghost


Randy Travis – Famous for his country music, but he does this gospel song right with a small acappella group. Very moving!

I’m Gonna Have A Little Talk With Jesus   


Take 6    – A fantastic 6-member acappella vocal group.  Christian music, pop music, jazz – they do it all! (Love the vocal bass lines!)

My Friend (Features guest Ray Charles!!!)        Get Away Jordan            If We Ever Needed The Lord Before (We Sure Do Need Him Now)  

Biggest Part of Me (Old Earth Wind & Fire tune – done with band)



Tommy Emmanuel – Perhaps the greatest guitarist in the world!  Watch the thumb picking the bass line underneath everything else!! Played on what looks like a pawn-shop guitar. Amazing!

Classical Gas             Guitar Boogie


Marc Cohn – Great songwriter who tells a story with each song.  Here’s two of my favorites

Silver Thunderbird   (About a young boy’s memories of his dad)                    Walking In Memphis (still popular on the radio 20 years after he wrote it – visiting Elvis)


Sting -   Another great songwriter – very intricate harmonies and rhythms along with a story in each song. My favorite CD is “Ten Summoners’ Tales”

Munificent Seven -  (Inspired by Yul Brynner and the “Magnificient Seven” – Follow the mixed 7/4 and 4/4 meters)   

Fields of Gold         Seven Days (Another fun mixed meter in 5/4)          A Thousand Years  (A great story-telling song)

Shape Of My Heart  (nice guitar/vocal duo)        Fragile  (shows how creative you can get with just 3 basic chords I-IV-V)


Bruce Hornsby -  These are mp3 recordings (not videos).  BH is another great storyteller and songwriter.  Incorporates elements of jazz, pop, folk, gospel, and more.

He lives in Williamsburg VA and records in his basement.   Listen closely to the words for a message in each song. 

The Way It Is (This one made his famous – exposes stereotyping and bigotry)      Lost Soul       What A Time (Great piano playing!)      Long Tall Cool One   (nice groove!)

Pastures of Plenty  (Some Irish Folk Song flavor)      The Dreadful Spoon  (A fun song to listen to! Shows his strong folk-music influence)  


West Side Story (Various Artists)    (mp3 recordings)    An incredible collection of the best musicians performing the music of Bernstein.

America – Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle and Sheila E.  (transitions to a foot-stomping gospel at the end!)        Cool – Patti Austin, Mervyn Warren and Bruce Hornsby

I Feel Pretty -  Outrageous performance by Little Richard (Really!)                    I Have A Love -  Superbly done by Trisha Yearwood