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Michael Schutz
McMaster University
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A percussionist/cognitive scientist specializing in exploring music’s psychological basis, he supervises a music cognition laboratory researching questions such as why visual information plays a role in music, and how music communicates emotion. Dr. Schutz is also an active freelance percussionist, and directs the McMaster Percussion Ensemble.

Prior to his appointment at McMaster, he was Director of Percussion Studies at Longwood University and an instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University.  While in Virginia he was a frequent performer with the Roanoke Symphony, Opera on the James, Charlottesville Symphony, Oratorio Society of Virginia, and the Lynchburg Symphony. Additional performing credits performances include with Virginia Consort, Altoona Symphony, Nittany Valley Symphony, Marvin Hamlish, and the Pennsylvania Centre Chamber Orchestra. Invited solo performances include guest appearances with the University of Virginia Percussion Ensemble, Penn State University, Goucher College, Virginia/DC "Day of Percussion," Project:Percussion Festival, and the 2006 Alvin Lucier Festival.

Active in the promotion of new music, Michael was selected to premier internationally renowned composer Judith Shatin's trio “Time To Burn” at PASIC 2006 (Austin, TX) along with percussionist I-Jen Fang and oboist Scott Perry. Other world premiers include Peter Traub’s innovative “Groundloops: for Percussion and Internet” and Gordon Ring’s “Magnificat,” as well as chamber works by Brett Dietz, Mekara Chaipruk, Rob Reinhart and Peter Buck. Additional efforts to contribute to the percussion canon include arrangements of orchestral pieces for percussion ensemble as well as marimba transcriptions of solo works for the guitar, violin, and piano. These efforts to include transcriptions in the college curriculum led to his clinic titled Musical Perspective at the 2005 Virginia/DC Day of Percussion.

A prize-winning researcher, he has published on topics ranging from the role of visual information in music perception to the computer aided analysis of post-tonal music. In addition to presentations at national conferences across the United States, Michael has spoken abroad at the International Conference on Music and Gesture hosted by the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK), the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (Bologna, Italy), Acoustics ’08 (Paris, France), and the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (Montreal, Canada). Additionally, he has given invited lectures on his research at James Madison University, Goucher College, Penn State University, Virginia/DC Day of Percussion, and PASIC 2008 in Austin, Texas.

Michael earned the MM in Percussion Performance and Music Technology from Northwestern University and the BMA in Percussion Performance along with a BS in Computer Science from Penn State University. His teachers include marimba virtuoso Michael Burritt, Dan Armstrong, Gifford Howarth, Ken Harbison, and Randy Eyles. He is an artist/clinician for Innovative Percussion and Sabian cymbals, whose products he is proud to endorse.