Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Dr. Michael Schelle, composer-in-residence, music theory, composition

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MICHAEL SCHELLE (b. 1950, Philadelphia): raised in Bergen County, northern New Jersey, Schelle graduated from Northern Highlands Regional High School where, as Captain of the track team, he held the all-state distance records in javelin, shot put and hammer for three years running. Now 30 years running as Composer in Residence and founder (1984) and director of the notorious JCA Composers Orchestra (new music ensemble) at Butler University's School of Music in Indianapolis, he has been 2X a Pulitzer Prize nominee, recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Composition Prize, a finalist for the International Humour in Poetry Competition (Paris), a restaurant critic (Indianapolis), and a published author (the critically-acclaimed film music book The Score (Silman-James Press, Los Angeles).

Schelle's music has been commissioned and/or performed by over 300 orchestras, wind bands and professional chamber ensembles across the US and abroad including the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Greenwich (CT) Orchestra & Chorus, Honolulu Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Alabama Symphony, New York Festival Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, Missouri Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, the principal orchestras of Albany (NY), Baton Rouge, Birmingham, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Springfield (Mass), Knoxville, Evansville, Tulsa, Fort Smith (AR), Fort Collins (CO) and Fort Wayne (IN); the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, New World Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Pro Musica, XTET (Los Angeles), Voices of Change (Dallas), SONOR (San Diego), ISIS Ensemble (Austin), UQ (Urban Quartet Phoenix), the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Ronen Chamber Ensemble, Indiana Opera Theatre, Eastman School of Music New Music Group, etc. His music for symphonic winds has been commissioned and/or performed by dozens of the most prestigious wind ensembles across the U.S. including Eastman, University of Texas-Austin, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Arizona State, Michigan State, Kansas State, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska, University of Florida, Ithaca, New Mexico, The Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, SUNY, USC, LSU, and many others.

Recent critically-acclaimed international performances of his music have included Kammerorchester Basel (Switzerland), the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra (Moscow), the St. Petersburg (Russia) Philharmonic, Czestochowa Philharmonic (Poland), Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional (Costa Rica), the Koenig Ensemble of London, the Vale of Glamorgan Music Festival (Cardiff, Wales), the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), CoMET (Contemporary Music Ensemble of Tokyo), the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Performing Arts Center Wind Symphony, the 2009 Firenza International Music Festival (Italy) and in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Beijing, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Brussels, Berlin, Bombay, Budapest, Bucharest, Vienna, Prague and Amsterdam.

Schelle has received composition grants and awards from many prestigious arts organizations including the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), the Rockefeller Foundation (NYC), the American Symphony Orchestra League (NYC), the League of American Orchestras, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Welsh Arts Council (Cardiff, Wales, UK), the International Percussive Arts Society, American Pianists Association, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition (UT), the Great Lakes Arts Alliance, Arts Midwest, Indiana Arts Commission, ASCAP, BMI, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Arts Council.  Selected form nearly 80 international entries, Schelle's 2011 symphonic wind ensemble work,The End of the World - a consortium commission from 35 American university bands - was awarded the prestigious Revelli Memorial Composition Prize (National Band Association) in 2012.

Schelle has held numerous extended composition residencies including the MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire), the Spoleto USA Festival (Charleston, SC), Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts (Virginia), ICAM (Institute of Contemporary American Music, CT), the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program, Inc. (two years: 2004 - 2006) and the Finger Lakes Music Festival (upstate NY). He has been featured Guest Composer for ALL-SCHELLEMUSIK programs, masterclasses and lectures at many institutions across the US including the University of Massachusetts, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, Sam Houston State University (TX), Louisiana State University, the Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.), University of Notre Dame, Washington State University, the Ohio State University, California Lutheran University, Syracuse University, Eastern Michigan University, Bowling Green State University, Capital University (OH), the University of New Mexico, Old Dominion University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kent State University, USC, UCLA, NYU, SUNY and many others.

Recent international Guest Composer extended residencies have included: Aichi Prefectural University of Music and Fine Arts (Yazako, Nagakute, Japan - 2010 and 2013), Nagoya Imperial University (Japan 2009 and 2013) The People's Electric Power University School of Music (Beijing, China, 2011) and the National University of San Jose / Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional (Costa Rica).

Schelle holds degrees from Villanova University (theatre), the Hartt School of Music / University of Hartford, Trinity College of Music, London, UK, (diploma) and a Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. His composition teachers have included Aaron Copland, Arnold Franchetti and Dominick Argento. Schelle's works are published by Keiser Classical / Hal Leonard (New York/St. Louis), Silman-James Press (Los Angeles, CA), Indiana University Press, European American Music, American Composers Edition (NYC) and commercially recorded by Harmonia Mundi (Europe), Innova (Boston), CRS (Philadelphia) and Albany Records (NYC/London).


Download Dr. Schelle's "Strapping" from Straight No Lithium for solo piano.

Visit Michael Schelle's website.
Read the in-depth profile of Michael Schelle.

(317) 940-9642