Michael Shirtz is known for his versatility with jazz, contemporary, and traditional music audiences: conducting, producing and performing nationally with numerous organizations, theater, festivals, and concert productions. Shirtz remains an active vocal coach and music director for educational, repertory theatre, collegiate, and pops music productions; currently serving as music director/producer for Maureen McGovern.
Credited as a “songsmith,” his shows As I’ve Learned It and An American Songbook Story honor jazz legends and repertoire through multimedia performances with his group, the Michael Shirtz Quartet. Shirtz released his album and inspirational-based show, Blue Skies in 2018. and has written music for choirs, orchestras, jazz bands, and theater available through SMP.
Shirtz has served on the faculty of Capital University, American Music Academy, Pellissippi State College-Knoxville, and Terra State Community College where he also served as dean of business, arts, and communications. Shirtz has received Ohio’s Excellence in Education and Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service awards for developing curriculum and programs that provided experiential learning that impacted regional communities through the arts and established internship and training programs for students with professional theatres and concert venues.
Currently, Shirtz serves as associate director/project manager of the Tri-C JazzFest & Performing Arts Series, teaches on faculty with the Heidelberg University School of Music & Theatre, conductor of the Firelands Symphony Chorale, and remains an active vocal coach and clinician. Shirtz received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capital University and Master of Music in Conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. Shirtz is a member of ASCAP, African American Jazz Caucus, American Choral Directors Association, and an advocate for mental health awareness. Shirtz is a Prima Music Foundation artist and conductor.