Schelle, Michael, American composer, teacher, and writer on music; b. Philadelphia, Jan. 22, 1950. He studied theater at Villanova Univ. (B.A., 1971), then pursued musical training at Butler Univ. (B.M., 1974), at the Hartt School of Music of the Univ. of Hartford (M.M., 1976), with Copland (1976–77), and with Argento at the Univ. of Minn. (Ph.D., 1980). From 1979 he taught at Butler Univ., where he also was composerin-residence from 1981. He received grants from the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, BMI, ASCAP et al., and in 1989 was named distinguished composer of the year by the Music Teachers National Assn. Many major American orchs. have commissioned and premiered his scores, including those of Indianapolis, Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Chicago, and Springfield. He was also a guest composer at Capital Univ. in Columbus, Ohio (1991), the Univ. of Southern Calif, in Los Angeles (1994), and Sam Houston State Univ. in Huntsville, Tex. (1995), among others. Schelle publ. The Score: Interviews with Film Composers (Los Angeles, 1999).
DRAMATIC : The Great Soap Opera, chamber opera (1988; Indianapolis, June 9, 1989); Aesop Rules!, children’s musical (1996). ORCH .: Lancaster Variations (1976); El Medico (1977); Masque—A Story of Puppets, Poets, Kings, and Clowns(1979); Pygmies I for Youth Orch. and Tape (1982) and II for Youth Orch. and Speaker (1983); Oboe Concerto (1983; Indianapolis, Jan. 6, 1984); Swashbuckler! (1984); Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1987; Indianapolis, Jan. 14, 1988); The Big Night (1989); Rapscallion for Chamber Orch. (1990); Blast! (1992); Spirits (1993); Centennimania I for the 100lh anniversary of the Cincinnati Sym. Orch. (1994); Giant (1994); Mayday! for Percussion and Orch. (1995); Spider Baby for Chamber Orch. (1996); Ear Infection for Orch. and 1,000 Kazoos in the Audience (1998); Samurai (In Memoriam Akira Kurosawa) (1998). Symphonic Band/large Wind Ensemble : King Ubu (1980); Cliff Hanger March (1984); 7 Steps from Hell (1985); Contraband (1990); Guttersnipe (1994); Centennimania II: When Hell Freezes Over for the 100th anniversary of the Butler Univ. School of Music (Indianapolis, Oct. 6, 1995); When Hell Freezes Over II, double concerto for Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble or Concert Band (1995). CHAMBER : Song without Words for Piano Trio (1977); Chamber Concerto for Violin and 3 Players (1978); Music for the Last Days of Strindberg for 9 Players (1979); Double Quartet for 8 Winds (1980); Cry Wolf! for Piano, Cello, and 5 Percussionists (1981); Rattlesnake! for Percussionist and Auxiliary Percussionists (1983); Blue Plate Special for Tuba and Auxiliary Percussion (1983); Music for the Alabama Kid for 8 Players (1984); Play Us Chastity on Your Violin, chamber concerto for Violin and 13 Players (1984); Howl! for Clarinet and 4 Players (1986); Daydream for 6 Players or Actors (1988); Musica Magnetizzare for Piano and 4 Players (1988); Racing with Rabbits! for Percussionist (1988); Buckeye Zombies for 5 Players (1995); Subwoofer for Flute (1996); Godzilla Brillante for Chamber Ensemble (1997). Piano: 3 sonatas (n.d.; 1976; Janus, 1998); Hammerstein (1994). VOCAL : The Wife Wrapt in Wether’s Skin for Men’s Chorus (1974); Cantus Matrimonium for Chorus, Organ, and Instruments (1976); Katzenmusik for Baritone and 6 Players, after T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1976); Caroleluia for Chorus (1978); Swanwhite—Letters to Strindberg from Harriet Bosse, song cycle for Soprano and Piano (1981); Golden Bells for Chorus and Orch. (1983; completion of an unfinished work by N. Dinerstein); Dei Angelis for Chorus and Organ (1987); Kidspeace for Voices and Orch. (1987); Oboe Darkness for Youth Chorus, Oboe, and Percussion (1987); 6 Seasonal Anthems for Chorus and Organ (1987); The Misadventures of Struwwelpeter, song cycle for Tenor and Piano (1991).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire