Shane W. Dittmar (he/him/his) is a musician; educator; and composer of popular, theatrical, and concert music. Originally from Raleigh, NC, he studied Music Education at UNC-Greensboro and now serves as the music teacher at the Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, WA, where he lives with his wife, Kaitlin; their cat, Milo; and his guide dog, Chevelle. His music is shaped by his unique view of the world: Shane is legally blind, and he strives to use his music to tell stories and express emotions that help everyone see the world a little more clearly.
As a vocalist, Shane has performed as a member of several choral, vocal jazz, and contemporary a cappella ensembles, including Reprise Choir Sings in Vancouver. He has also performed his own songs in concert, and, in 2015, became the inaugural "Blind Idol" after winning a national singing competition sponsored by IFB Solutions, a North Carolina organization which works to support and employ people with visual impairments.
Shane has worked extensively in musical theatre as the music director for productions such as Into the Woods, The Tempest, Pippin, Bat Boy, Rent, and Porgy and Bess. "Musical director and keyboardist Shane Dittmar," wrote the Raleigh News and Observer of North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre's production of Rent, "...gives the rock score proper power but also great subtlety and warmth when needed." He has also written, arranged, and orchestrated music for productions by Raleigh Little Theatre, ArtStream, and Arts Access NC. In 2021, his original short musical scene "Like Usual" was featured in Roundabout Theatre Company's Reverb festival.
Shane's published choral compositions include "Annunciation to the Shepherds," a setting of verses from Luke 2, which was published by Hinshaw Music in 2019 and premiered by the North Carolina Master Chorale; "If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking" (text by Emily Dickinson), published in 2018 by Heritage Music Press; and "Cantate," a 2016 psalm setting which is published by Hinshaw. His music has been performed internationally by middle and high school students as well as collegiate and all-state ensembles and has been selected for inclusion on Editor's Choice lists from major sheet music distributors such as J.W. Pepper.