Michael Sitton retired in 2020 with the title Dean Emeritus from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he served for eleven years; prior to that, he was Dean of Fine Arts at Eastern New Mexico University, and a music faculty member at several other institutions. 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, from Mars Hill College in his native North Carolina. 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, and attended the Conservatoire Américain at Fontainebleau.
Alongside his work as a performing pianist, throughout his career he has pursued a strong interest in composition, especially in sacred choral music. A formative experience in this regard was singing in the Canterbury Choir of the Episcopal Chapel of St. John the Divine at the University of Illinois. His choral compositions have been commissioned and performed by numerous churches and choirs nationwide, including commissions for national conferences of the Association of Anglican Musicians; other honors include numerous ASCAP annual awards. There have been a wide range of publications and recordings.
He has performed widely as a recital and concerto soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist, and has conducted masterclasses, workshops, and written for publications in piano literature and pedagogy. He served as a member of the Commission on Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music and as one of its Accreditation Visitors, and has engaged in numerous campus, regional, and state initiatives in public and higher education in both New Mexico and New York.
With his 2020 retirement he has relocated to central Vermont, where he has already become active in the choral music scene. There have been a number of recent Vermont premieres of new choral works, including several at Christ Episcopal Church in Montpelier, where he is a member of the church choir.