About

A native of North Carolina, composer Michael Sitton has served since 2009 as Dean of The Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. He held previous appointments as Dean of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University, and as professor, department chair and administrator at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His M.Mus. was earned at the University of Kentucky, and the B. Mus., summa cum laude, at North Carolina’s Mars Hill College. He also holds the Diplôme de concert from Paris’ Schola Cantorum, where he studied as a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar of the Fondation des Etats-Unis.

Trained and active as a performing pianist, Michael Sitton has pursued a strong interest in composition during most of his career, primarily working in the choral medium, though with a number of ventures into other genres. His interest in choral music was fostered particularly during his membership in the Canterbury Choir at the Episcopal Chapel of St. John the Divine in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of organist/choirmaster Jerald Hamilton; his choral works were first performed there. He has had numerous works published by eight American publishers, and his compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad. He is frequently commissioned by churches, prominent ensembles and performers, and has had commissioned works performed at a number of national and regional conferences, including the Association of Anglican Musicians, the American Choral Directors’ Association, and the American Guild of Organists. He has received composers’ awards from ASCAP annually since 1993, and his works have been recorded by a number of ensembles and have been broadcast on national radio programs.

He lives in the village of Potsdam in New York’s North Country, between the St. Lawrence River and the expansive Adirondack Park, where he enjoys many outdoor adventures, summer and winter, with his partner Mark and their three dogs.

selected reviews

Tantum Ergo
“Incorporating a haunting melody with a gentle, understated accompaniment … the simple beauty of this setting is always well appreciated by choristers.”
—Alan Reed, in the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

Open, O Lord
“Text set sensitively.” —Geoff Weaver, in Church Music Quarterly
“The writing eloquently illuminates the text, and the effect of the piece is utterly satisfying.”
—John L. Hooker, in the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

Two Contemplative Anthems
“Felicity of line and soul-drenching beauty… essential literature.”
—John L. Hooker, in the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians

O Salutaris Hostia
“An ideal motet during the administration of communion.”
—Kevin Walters, in The American Organist

Amice Christi, Johannes
“A stunningly beautiful setting…perfect fusion of note to word.”
—Stephen Hodge, in Choral Journal