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Seeing students reach unexpected heights is 'top of the mountain' for music prof

By Tom Maxedon
Published: Sunday, August 20, 2023 - 9:26am
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2023 - 11:24pm

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Nick Woodward-Shaw
Darin Shryock is Mesa Community College Music Theatre program and music director.

A Mesa Community College professor was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Darin Shryock has been a music educator for over three decades. He said watching students achieve heights they didn’t know they could is “top of the mountain” for him as a teacher.

What’s so rewarding? “Coaching, finding a way to get a concept across or an idea or even a vocal placement that will help them connect and then being able to witness that in real time as they realize, ‘oh my gosh, I’m able to do this,’” Shryock said.  

As the college’s musical theater director, he teaches show music to cast members and conducts the pit orchestra for all performances. 

According to a separate release, “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.’”

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Darin Shryock and his inspiration for a decades-long vocation in music education