ANN ARBOR The University of Michigan School of Music, Drama and Dance has named musical theater actor Michael McElroy as the new chair of the school’s award-winning musical theater department.
McElroy’s appointment was approved by the UM board of directors at its last meeting.
The Tony-nominated Broadway veteran is a composer, vocal arranger and has introduced a number of diversity initiatives in the performing arts. McElroy will begin his term this fall as Full Professor of Musical Theater Arthur E. and Martha S. Hearron.
His predecessor, Vincent Cardinal, left his post after five years to devote himself to teaching.
It is an exciting meeting for us, dean of the UM School of Music, Theater and DanceDavid Gier said in a statement. Michael McElroy brings a trio of invaluable experiences: as a seasoned artist with 30 years on the Broadway stage, as an impeccably credited educator, and as a leader working for diversity, equity and inclusion. in the performing arts.
With this unique experience, he is ideally placed to guide our famous musical theater program into the future at a pivotal time for the theater industry and for higher education.
McElroy joins U-Ms SMTD after spending 10 years at New York University as an associate professor of arts at New Studio Schools on Broadway.
McElroy founded the diverse professional choir Inspirational Voices from Broadway in 1994. He was Music Director of the Broadway Artist Choir until his resignation last month. BIV received the Tony Award Honor for Excellence in the Theater in 2019.
He has also co-founded numerous organizations focused on promoting a fair performing arts culture, including Black Theater United, MUSE, and the Academy’s Music Theater Dance Professionals.
Professor McElroy is a leader in teaching our craft and is committed to bringing diverse voices to our field, said in a statement the associate professor of the Department of Musical Theater who headed the research committee of the new president, Jason DeBord. He is one of the most respected people in the teaching and performance of musical theater, and we are fortunate to have him in college and on the SMTD.
(I) am delighted to be a part of such an incredible program, at a university that views its musical theater program as something of absolute value and importance to the institution, McElroy said in a statement. And I’m delighted to be in conversation with professors who are truly thrilled to build on the legacy of Vince Cardinal and Brent Wagner.
McElroy began his career moving to New York City in 1990 after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University.
His Broadway credits include:
Sunday at the park with George
Next to normal, rent
The wild party
The Whos Tommy
Patti LuPone on Broadway
High Roller Social Fun Club
Big River, for which he received a Tony nomination
I know what that long-term trip is, McElroy said in a statement. I can now help students understand what longevity is in a career and the importance of reputation, consistency, relationship building, having joy in the room, all those things that the world we live in doesn’t always help you cultivate.
McElroy received NYU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award earlier this year, awarded to outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through teaching excellence, leadership, l activism for social justice and community development.
McElroy said his role in various diversity initiatives has become an innate part of his identity and career.
It’s part of who I am, because I have to deal with these issues, McElroy said in a statement. Having to face these challenges, I know how it builds resilience, and I have come to believe that this is the next iteration of musical theater training: how we develop these skills to truly see and value each experience we have lived in. space, and then engage in a complicated subject through the work.
McElroy has been a two-time U-Ms Broadway Artist in Residence and has developed a relationship with SMTD over the past three years.
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