soundwavesComposerMusic DirectorMusic Educator

Shirley Mier

Shirley Mier is a composer, music director, music educator – and a total theory nerd. (Why aren’t there more types of 7th chords??) Shirley composes music of all kinds, in the theatre, concert and educational world. Whatever the style or genre, her music is rooted in tonality, with harmonic inventiveness, clarity and momentum. It also has plenty of drama and humor, thanks in part to her musical theatre background.

In 1988 Shirley moved to Minneapolis to do a theatre gig. 30+ years and 100+ theatre gigs later, Shirley finds herself in Hudson, WI (just across the river from the Twin Cities), with a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the U of M, a career as a music professor at Century College, numerous commissions, performances and publications of her works, and a country & bluegrass band – not to mention a black belt in Kuk Sool Won, many wonderful friends and colleagues, and her amazing and supportive family. Welcome, and thanks for visiting!

Shirley Mier

Instrumental Music

Shirley composes primarily for concert band and has written and arranged music for orchestra and chamber groups as well.  Click here for a list of works and links to purchase.

Theatre Music

Shirley has composed numerous musical theatre scores, primarily for children’s musicals at Stages Theatre in Hopkins, as well as Greek drama and music for Shakespeare plays. Click here for information about published works.

Electronic & Sound Design

Shirley’s theatre works include several sound design projects and electronic scores.  Check out her recent projects on her bandcamp page.

Music Directing & Performing

Shirley has decades of experience as a Music Director with community, professional, and college theatre companies in the Twin Cities, most recently with Century Playhouse and Theatre 55.  She is a comedy improv pianist and plays melodica & keyboard with her country & bluegrass band, the Hell-Burnin’ Sinners.  Click here for news about upcoming projects and gigs!

Featured Work

Of Lakes and Legends – Orchestral Suite

Originally written for the Century Chamber Orchestra (at Century College, White Bear Lake, MN), Shirley’s orchestral suite Of Lakes and Legends was recorded by the Croatian Chamber Orchestra in the fall of 2017 with PARMA Recordings and was released in October 2018 on their Navona label on the album Legends and Light, a compilation of contemporary orchestral works.

In August 2021, the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Miran Vaupotic, performed Of Lakes and Legends as part of a streamed concert of contemporary orchestral works.  Congratulations to the orchestra and conductor on this first-rate performance!