D R . M I C H A E L P F I T Z E R , Conductor

16 Grinnell Street, Greenfield, MA 01301 • (518) 879-3320 •

Doctor of Musical Arts 2019


Boston University, College of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Master of Music 2011

Choral Conducting

University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Music, Madison, WI

Bachelor of Arts 2009

Music and History, magna cum laude

Tufts University, Tufts College, Medford, MA


First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow, MA 2012–2021

Director of Music

Leader of a vibrant music program featuring a 25-voice Adult Choir, Youth and Children’s

Choirs, Drumming Ensemble, Ukulele Ensemble, and Coffeehouse Concert Series

Voices of Metrowest, Natick, MA 2017–2018

Choir Director and Conductor

30-voice community chorus with an annual budget of $20,000 performing pop and a

cappella repertoire in many styles from recent decades

Wakefield Choral Society, Wakefield, MA 2016–2018

Music Director

50-voice community chorus with an annual budget of $15,000 performing short and mid-

length pieces from all eras of repertoire

Cambridge Community Chorus, Cambridge, MA 2013–2014

Music Director ad interim

100-voice community chorus with an annual budget of $75,000 performing masterworks

from all eras of choral–orchestral repertoire with professional orchestra

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2012–2017

Associate Conductor, Harvard–Radcliffe Chorus

120-voice community and student ensemble with an annual budget of $75,000 sponsored

by the Harvard Choruses and the Office for the Arts at Harvard University performing

masterworks from all eras of choral-orchestral repertoire


Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2012–2016
Assistant Conductor, Harvard Summer Chorus

200-voice community and student ensemble with an annual budget of $35,000 with

singers from Boston’s select community choruses and Harvard Summer School students

performing masterworks with professional orchestra and soloists


Cambridge Community Chorus, Cambridge, MA 2011–2013

Assistant Conductor

Madison Symphony Chorus, Madison, WI 2010–2011

Assistant Conductor

University Theatre, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 2010

Assistant Conductor

Franco–American Vocal Academy, Saint Yrieix–la–Perche, France 2009

Assistant Conductor of Madrigal Choir and Opera


Deerfield Academy, Choral Director, Associate Faculty 2021–

Director, Advanced Vocal Ensemble, Academy Choir, and Deerfield Chorus

State University of New York at Albany, Director of Choral Studies 2018–2021

MUS 187 University Community Chorale

MUS 287 Chamber Singers

MUS 105 Choral Music

MUS 263 Aural Skills

MUS 264 Aural Skills for Singers (including IPA/Diction Lab)

MUS 497 Independent Study – Conducting

Received a Purple & Gold award as Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year (2018-19)

Framingham State University, Choral Director/Visiting Lecturer 2017–2018

MUS 105 & 106 University Choral Performance

Boston University, Instructor 2018

MP 390 Intro to Conducting

Harvard University, Teaching Fellow 2014–2015

MUS 014 Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum

Received two Harvard University Certificates of Distinction in Teaching, awarded by

Harvard’s Bok Center acknowledging a special contribution to the teaching of

undergraduates in Harvard College

University of Wisconsin–Madison, L.J. Wendt Distinguished Graduate Fellow 2009–2011

MUS 59 University Chorus

MUS 55 Masters Singers


Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2012–2018

Choral Associate

Chief staff administrator for the Harvard Choral Program with an annual budget of more

than $200,000, Assistant to the Director of Choral Activities, Advisor for student choral

groups, Manager for projects in marketing, development, concert production, budgeting,

recruitment, and service

Harvard–Radcliffe Collegium Musicum Foundation, Cambridge, MA 2011–2015


Maintained singer/alumni database and managed projects in alumni relations,

development, donor recognition, concert production, and communications

Cambridge Community Chorus, Cambridge, MA 2012–2013


Managed projects in accounting, ordering music, Board of Directors collaboration, venue

engagement, fundraising, and orchestra contracting


Deerfield Academy, Wachsman Concert Hall, Deerfield, MA December 2022

Holiday Pops concert with more than 100 student musicians

Deerfield Academy, Wachsman Concert Hall, Deerfield, MA May 2022

Scheduled performance themed on artistic reactions to living in the pandemic

Deerfield Academy, Wachsman Concert Hall, Deerfield, MA February 2022

Advanced Vocal Ensemble performance at the Weill Concert Hall at Carnegie Hall

Deerfield Academy, Wachsman Concert Hall, Deerfield, MA December 2021

Performance of “The Nutcracker” with full orchestra, followed by holiday choral concert

SUNY-Albany Chamber Singers & Chorale, Perf. Arts Center, Albany, NY December 2020

Virtual concert premiere of student-created social justice arts projects in quarantine

First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow, MA September 2020

Led a
Driveway Choir in an innovative and safe rehearsal during the COVID-19 pandemic

SUNY-Albany Chamber Singers & Chorale, Perf. Arts Center, Albany, NY April 2020

“All of Us” virtual choir project with GRAMMY-winning ensemble Conspirare

SUNY-Albany Chamber Singers & Chorale, Perf. Arts Center, Albany, NY November 2019

Conducting a program on mental wellness engaging students in improving their own wellness

SUNY-Albany Chamber Singers & Chorale, Perf. Arts Center, Albany, NY April 2019

Conducted New York State premiere of José María Vitier’s Misa Cubana with orchestra

SUNY-Albany Chamber Singers & Chorale, Perf. Arts Center, Albany, NY November 2018

Conducted a program of music against gun violence

Boston University Singers, Marsh Chapel, Boston, MA April 2018
Conducted a program of Cuban choral music with BU Singers Treble Ensemble

Framingham State University Choir, Framingham, MA December 2017

Conducted a program of resistance songs in opposition to racial threats on campus

Harvard–Radcliffe Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA May 2017

Conducted Mendelssohn’s Psalm XIII with professional orchestra Grand Harmonie

Village Harmony, Havana, Cuba February 2017

Singer in professional level cultural exchange tour choir in Cuba

First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow, MA December 2016

Northeast US premiere of J. Sartorius’s Machet die Tore Weit, baroque work from Romania

Harvard–Radcliffe Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA December 2016

Conducted Corigliano’s Fern Hill with professional orchestra

Harvard–Radcliffe Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA May 2016

Conducted Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Regina Coeli with professional orchestra

First Parish Church of Stow and Acton Adult Choir April 2016

Choir Tour to Transylvania area of Romania; Performances in Cluj and Olasztelek

Harvard University, São Paulo, Rio de Janiero, and Porto Alegre, Brazil May 2015

Conducted in five concerts on Harvard–Radcliffe Collegium Musicum Concert Tour of Brazil

First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow, MA December 2014

Conducted J.S. Bach’s Wachet Auf (BWV 140) with professional strings and soloists

Cambridge Community Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA May 2014

Conducted Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis with professional orchestra and soloists

Cambridge Community Chorus, Regis College, Weston, MA April 2014

Prepared chorus for concert of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Boston Civic Symphony

Cambridge Community Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA December 2013

Conducted Handel’s Messiah, Part I with professional orchestra and soloists

Harvard Summer Chorus, Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA August 2013

Conducted Handel’s Psalm 112 with professional orchestra and soloists

First Parish Church of Stow and Acton, Stow, MA December 2012

Conducted M. Bonds’s Ballad of the Brown King setting of Langston Hughes poetry in A

Gospel Christmas service featuring professional soloists and instrumentalists.

S E R V I C E , G U E S T L E C T U R E S , A N D P R E S E N T A T I O N S
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 2018–2021

Invited Guest Performances

Performed with student choral ensembles at the following University events:

Holiday Concert of Music Ensembles December 2018-2019
Select student group at CAS #1 Recognition Ceremony (University Commencement) May 2019

Chamber Singers at Excellence Awards Gala (Albany Alumni Association) May 2019

University Chorale at Research Administrators’ Symposium (SUNY Research Foundation) March 2019

University and Departmental Service

Student Organization Faculty Mentor – Harmonic Cadences 2018-

Convocation and Commencement Attendee 2018-2019

Student Vocal Performance Jury Adjudicator December 2018 & May 2019
MUS 375: Analysis and Synthesis Invited Guest Lecturer February 2019

Munch with the Majors – Faculty Mentor September 2018

Great Danetopia Student Recruitment Event – Faculty Attendee August 2018

Connecticut Music Educators’ Association, Meriden, CT Winter 2019

Orchestra Conductor

Invited conductor for the Southern Region High School Festival on January 10 & 11

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 2016–

Invited Guest Lectures

“L.M. Miranda’s Hamilton, Musical Styles, and Popular Narrative” at Center on the Developing Child January 2019
“Empowering Song for First Year Students” at First-Year Arts Program during Orientation August 2017

“Intro to Conducting” at the Harvard Summer School (in MUS S-10) July 2016

Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 2016–

Invited Guest Lectures

“Musical Symbols and Prequels in Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked” (in AM 101: The Wizard of Oz) November 2019
“L.M. Miranda’s Hamilton, Musical Styles, and Popular Narrative” (in AM 265: Pop History) October 2018

“L.M. Miranda’s Hamilton, Musical Styles, and Popular Narrative” (in AM 260: Pop History) March 2016

Unitarian Universalist Organizations Summer 2017

Presentations Given at Conferences

“Empowering Song: Tools for Musical Outreach and In-reach” (at UUMN Conference, Arlington, VA) July 2017

“Empowering Song: Tools for Musical Outreach and In-reach” (at UU General Assembly, New Orleans) June 2017

All New England Choral Festival, Portsmouth, NH Fall 2016

Empowering Your Music Program (Conference Presentation)

Using the Empowering Song approach to change the way we teach choral music

I attended these conferences but did not present–presentations are listed above

ACDA National Conference, Kansas City, MO February 2019

ACDA Regional Conference, Boston, MA February 2016

*Administrative support staff on logistics for the conference’s feature concert at Harvard

ACDA National Conference, Dallas, TX March 2013

ACDA Regional Conference, Providence, RI February 2012

ACDA National Conference, Chicago, IL March 2011

ACDA Central Division Conference, Minneapolis, MN March 2010


Pi Kappa Lambda

American Choral Directors Association

Chorus America

National Collegiate Choral Organization

College Music Society

Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries


Email from Mike after interview

Dear Patricia and Olivia,

Thanks so much for making the time for our conversation today. It was lovely to meet both of you, and to talk and dream a bit about the Mystic Chorale! Apologies for my dog interrupting us at the very end. I think she wanted to be a part of the conversation too.
I appreciated your information and insights into the group, and all of the ways in which you’re looking at building a bright future for the next chapter in Mystic Chorale’s history. I’d love to lead a workshop sometime if you’d like to have me come. Is there a date range you’d be considering? I’d just need to make sure it works with my schedule, but if so, I’d be there. If you do want me to come, and if we pick a date, I’m also happy to send along a plan for the time, and some specific repertoire, and would be happy to collaborate on it as needed.
Please feel free to be in touch if you have any additional questions. Thanks again, and more soon!
Dr. Michael Pfitzer
(518) 879-3320

Hi Olivia and Patricia,

Thanks so much for your note, and apologies for writing on such a busy weekend! I wanted to give it until today to get back to you, since I know there was a lot going on. How did it all go?
I’d love to come up with a theme and some repertoire for a June Saturday. Would June 3 be a possibility for you all? I’m happy either with a concert or no concert, whatever you prefer. Sometimes I think it’s nice to get to know each other a bit for a first engagement without a big concert at the end, but, it’s also nice to show off what we learned. Any preference on your side?
I’ll do some thinking on a theme. I think I’d like to choose pieces in a variety of styles and let an overarching theme help shape the rep, rather than selecting a musical theme like “folk” or “60s songs,” if that’s alright. How long do the workshops usually last? That will help me pick appropriate repertoire.
Thanks so much, and more soon! I’ll get my resume and videos organized and share with you this week.

Notes from First Interview – Olivia and Patricia

Interviewed Jan 20

Mike Pfitzer


Questions for Candidates – taken from conversation about the Mystic questionnaire

Questions in green are for a first interview to see if there is a good match between candidate’s skills, experience, and interests and Mystic’s needs.


The Mystic Chorale Mission


1. What comes to mind when you read the Mystic mission statement and how would you see yourself fulfilling that mission? 
Mike loves unauditioned choruses.  He believes everyone can learn to sing.


As a conductor, teacher and community leader


2. Briefly summarize your experience in choral conducting, focusing on what specifically has qualified you to lead Mystic Chorale.
Mike has led multiple choruses: Cambridge Community Chorus for 1 year, a mUU choir in Stowe, MA for 10 years, University of Albany for 3 years, Harvard Summer. Chorus for multiple years, currently at Deerfield Academy.  phD from BU in choral conducting.


3. How would you describe your best qualities as a conductor?   What words would others use to describe you as a leader and a conductor?

Inclusive. No singer should feel less than or left out


4. Describe your teaching style and experience leading a non-auditioned choir whose members have varied abilities to read music.

He has led many unauditioned choruses. His style is do what it takes to have singers learn the music.  He will use singers in each section to teach others. Not section leaders but different leaders depending on the song

He would need a rehearsal pianists – he is not proficient enough to play the piano himself during rehearsals. 


5. Are you experienced creating practice materials for singers?
Yes, has done some practice audios


6. What inspires you and what do you most want to achieve in a leadership role?


7. What have you done to promote community among singersin the choruses you have led?


8. Can you describe a difficult experience in a choral setting and talk about how you resolved it?


Selecting Music


9. How would you go about selecting music for the Mystic Chorale?  Where do you get your ideas? he was exposed to a large and diverse selection of music in school. He belongs to some associations where he gets info on new releases. He has a favorite songwriter in SA and another in the US who he follows. He follows Nick Page. 


10. Do you attend conferences and consortium gatherings and if so, which ones inspire you?
11. Do you arrange music yourself or request an outside person create arrangements?

Yes, some.  Not as much as Nick Page. He’d welcome the opportunity to do more. 


Working with Guest Artists and Instrumentalists


12. Do you have connections with guest artists and instrumentalists in the area?

Yes, many, many.  Both musicians and guest artists. 


13. Would you use contacts already in place through the Mystic Chorale?


14. In your opinion, what is the balance between music quality and community and contracting outside soloists and guest artists within a season?


Working with leadership


15. What is your experience working with a Board of Directors and a Programming Committee?  

Prefers to work with a programming committee as opposed to making decisions on his own. 


16. Have you worked with a Programming Committee to craft a season?


Diversity and Collaboration

17. What success have you had building age and cultural diversity in your choirs?


18. Have you collaborated with other singing groups to build relationships and diversity?


Styles of Music


19. What different styles of music interest you and what have you conducted?

A strength in South African music.  A wide range of music.


Singers and Soloists


20. Do you favor off-book performances and if so, how do you approach getting off-book?

He loves that we are off-book.  Feels the chorale really connects with the audience. 


21. What creative ways have you provided opportunities for and encouraged singers in the groups you have conducted?  For example, have you provided opportunities for small group singing?


22. How have you navigated the challenge of having soloists who are both experienced and inexperienced?


Concerts and Audience Participation


23. What is your experience rehearsing and conducting with a band, writing charts and conducting band/chorale rehearsals for a concert?

he has conducted several musicals which require conducting and working with the band. He has not done a lot of creating charts but has worked with musicians interpreting charts. He welcomes the opportunity to learn to create charts. 


24. What experience can you share about engaging the audience to participate in singing during a concert?   Have you taught parts to an audience so that they can sing with the choir?

He loves sing-alongs and would be happy to do it. 


25. Can you describe your performing style as a conductor?



Videos in action