Music Theatre faculty receives recognition for contributions to choral music

MESA, Ariz. – Aug. 14, 2023 – Darin Shryock, Mesa Community College Music Theatre program director and Music director, received a lifetime achievement award from the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (AzACDA) at its June conference.

The award honors choral directors who have made outstanding contributions to choral music in the state and exemplify distinguished service to choral music, singers and the art of choral singing. The AzACDA has recognized deserving choral directors in Arizona since 2000.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by one's peers,” said Shryock. “The list of music educators in Arizona that I look up to is long, and it gives me pause to be recognized as one among them.”

Choir has been a part of the Tempe resident’s life for more than 45 years. “It gave me focus in high school, purpose in college and grad school, and a career here in Arizona, “he continued. “While my area of focus has shifted musically, the lessons from 32 years as a choral educator continue to guide my work in music theatre.”

As MCC Music Theatre Program Director, Shryock, who began teaching at the college in 2019, is involved in student recruitment and advising, show selection, staff hiring and the creation and execution of a vision for the future of music theatre at MCC. As the college’s music director, he teaches show music to cast members and rehearses and conducts the cast and pit orchestra for all performances.

During his long career, Shryock has garnered numerous accolades for his contributions to choir. Some of his most distinguished citations include the Arizona Music Educators Association’s (AMEA) O.M. Hartsell Award for demonstrating exceptional ability as a teacher of music; and the AMEA’s Music Educator of the Year, the highest honor bestowed by the organization exemplifying excellence in teaching, leadership and advocacy for music and arts in Arizona. He currently serves as past president of the AMEA Executive Board.

The Arizona Choral Educators Association, for which he served a 16-year span as president, vocal jazz chair and vice president for all-state jazz and show choirs, also honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

In 2022, Shryock was nominated for and won a prestigious ariZoni Award for Music Direction for the MCC Music Theatre production of Sweeney Todd. This year he was nominated for two ariZonis for music direction for the MCC Music Theatre productions of Mad Ones and Something Rotten.

In addition he was honored by the Tempe Union High School District and Tempe Diablos for Excellence in Education; and by the Apache Trail Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars with the Award of Appreciation as well as the Patrick Henry Patriotism Award for his work as a music educator and his support of the Marcos de Niza High School (Tempe) J-ROTC program.

Prior to joining MCC, Shryock served as director of choral activities, music director, and a piano and guitar instructor at Marcos de Niza High School (Tempe). His choirs at the school toured extensively at renowned venues like Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His music theatre students–many of whom have gone on to careers in music, theatre and film–have been recognized statewide and nationally.

Shryock also taught choir and theatre at Tempe’s Fees Middle School (renamed Fees College Preparatory Middle School); choir, orchestra and guitar at Tempe High School; and choir and general music for the Stanley County School District in Fort Pierre, S.D.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) specializing in vocal music from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. and a master’s in music with emphasis in conducting from Arizona State University.

“I am blessed to have the life I have as I bring all that I have learned about creating art, community and joyful learning to students, staff and fellow creative artists at MCC,” he added.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

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Publication Date: 
Monday, August 14, 2023