Shirley was commissioned by the Century Chamber Orchestra to compose “Of Lakes and Legends,” a suite of four pieces depicting stories and historic locations in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. This new recording of “Of Lakes and Legends” will contribute to an upcoming compilation release of contemporary works.
Shirley holds a Ph.D. (2005) and an M.A. (2002) in Music Composition from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in Music from Grinnell College. She is a music faculty member at Century College (a community college in White Bear Lake, MN) where she teaches a variety of music courses and conducts the Theatre Orchestra and Popular Styles Ensembles. She is a member of ASCAP, the Dramatists Guild, and the American Composers Forum.
A self-proclaimed “music theory geek,” Shirley writes music of all kinds, in the theatre, educational and concert world. Theatre works include children’s musicals commissioned from Stages Theatre in Hopkins, MN (where she is a Resident Artist), scores for Shakespeare plays, and music for Greek tragedies. Her theatre music has been heard at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Shakespeare in the Park, The Playwrights’ Center, and many other stages across the U.S. and Canada.
Concert band works include commissions from Minnesota school bands and community bands, and several publications and award-winning works. Theme and Deviations for Band won the Fifth Annual H. Robert Reynolds’ National Wind Ensemble Composers Competition and was performed at Carnegie Hall, and Maiden Voyage (published by Grand Mesa) placed as a finalist in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest. Works published by Alfred Music include the concert band pieces Forge Ahead! and Song of the Wind: An Aztec Legend, and several educational piano duets.
Can’t wait to hear Shirley’s music? Take a listen to some of her current work below, and keep an ear out for more news about the upcoming recording!