CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

We are happy to report that CCM alumnus Michael Shults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) recently accepted a tenure track position as assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He teaches applied jazz and classical saxophone, coaches saxophone quartets and jazz combos, and teaches jazz improvisation.

Shults served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Jazz Studies during his time at CCM, teaching improvisation and coaching combos and big bands. He studied saxophone with James Bunte and Rick VanMatre, improvisation with Phil DeGreg and composition with Kim Pensyl.

Shults has been praised for his “strong, imaginative” improvisations (Downbeat Magazine) and “fresh and intelligent musical ideas” (The Pitch). As a jazz saxophonist, he was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition, and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He was a featured soloist on Bobby Watson’s 2010 release The Gates BBQ Suite which reached as high as #4 on the Jazzweek National Radio Airplay Charts. Also adept as a concert saxophonist, Shults has been praised for his “jaw-dropping” and “authoritative” technique (Bill Brownlee of the Kansas City Star) and has performed by invitation at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference and the University of Iowa Festival for New Music.

He is currently a DMA candidate at the the University of Missouri-Kansas City under the tutelage of Zach Shemon of the PRISM Quartet. Before coming to CCM for his graduate studies, Shults earned dual BM degrees in Saxophone Performance and Jazz and Studio Music from the UMKC where he studied with noted saxophonists Bobby Watson, Tim Timmons and Dan Thomas.

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