Two CCM alumni have accepted faculty positions at major universities; Michael Schults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) is now an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Memphis, and Thomas Zinninger (MM Jazz Studies, 2009; DMA Saxophone, 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Michael Shults

Michael Shults

For the past four years, Schults has been an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. During his time as a graduate student at CCM, he taught improvisation and coached jazz combos and bands. He studied with James Bunte, Rick VanMatre, Phil DeGreg and Kim Pensyl.

Shults 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 has performed by invitation as a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, the Jazz Education Network conference, the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association conference and the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association conference.  He is a founding faculty member of the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop, along with Zach Shemon, alto saxophonist of the PRISM Quartet. Shults has also served on the faculty of the Eugene Rousseau Saxophone Workshop at Shell Lake Arts Center. He is currently the alto saxophone chair in the Coalescent Quartet.

Zinninger moves to Texas A&M-Kingsville from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he taught saxophone and led the jazz ensemble. He was both a graduate student and a faculty member while he was at CCM, where he taught courses in jazz improvisation and jazz appreciation.

His performance credits include the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Frank Simon Band, Chamber Winds of Louisville, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, RL Big Band and the Don Krekel Orchestra. As a soloist, he premiered new arrangements for saxophone at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland as well as the 2012, 2014 and 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences.

Congratulations to both of these CCM graduates for their success!

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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