CCM Jazz Studies Alumni Accept Faculty Positions in Tennessee and Texas

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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CCM alumnus Michael Shults.

CCM Alumnus Michael Shults Joins the Faculty of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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.

Learn more by visiting www.michaelshultsmusic.com.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

DownBeat’s 2012 Student Music Award Winners Includes Two CCM Students

DownBeat Magazine has announced the recipients of its 35th Annual Student Music Awards and two current CCM students are amongst this year’s winners!

Max Acree, trombone, was recognized with an Outstanding Jazz Soloist Performance award in the undergraduate college category, while Michael Shultz, alto saxophone, was awarded Outstanding Jazz Soloist Performance in the graduate-level category.

CCM News Student Salutes

Have A Ball With Count Basie, CCM Jazz and Guest Artist Dennis Mackrel

CCM welcomes guest artist Dennis Mackrel on Nov. 13.

CCM welcomes guest artist Dennis Mackrel on Nov. 13.

On Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m., the CCM Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band welcome guest artist Dennis Mackrel, drummer and band leader of the world famous Count Basie Orchestra for “Atomic Basie!”

This fun-filled evening features the hits of the Count Basie library and other swing era favorites that are sure to get the joint jumping, including “April in Paris,” “Corner Pocket,” Dennis Mackrel originals and more. CCM’s Scott Belck and Dominic Marino conduct.

CCM News