Episode: There’s a Part Just For You, with Dr. Michael John Trotta

Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth Logo
There’s a Part Just For You, with Dr. Michael John Trotta

Music selection is perhaps the most critical decision you make as a choir director. And making that decision can be completely overwhelming when you are looking for something you can successfully sing with 12 sopranos, 4 altos, and 2 basses. But music selection gives you the opportunity to create what Dr. Michael John Trotta calls a “culture of belonging,” where every voice has an important part. And there are resources out there who can help you find the perfect pieces to create that culture in your own choir.

[Subscribe on iTunes] [Subscribe on Android]

Highlight to Tweet: “Students know when you are trying to sell them crap.” -Michael John Trotta

Show Notes:
  • Creating a culture of belonging

        Every voice is unique and important. Avoid assigning “hand me downs,” so that every member feel like they are contributing something significant.

  • Composition as a response to the choir.

        Often commissions are in response to a specific choir’s particular needs. Figure out what your needs are, and what you need in the music to make it work.

  • Repertoire selection as a solution to engaging your choir

                Sing great music; not hard music...great music.

  • Developmental appropriate repertoire
  • Setting the stage for a lifetime of great music making
  • What directors are looking for in repertoire

                Many directors have the same struggle: finding music for the arriving voice/middle school range.

  • Music that sounds harder than it is, music that makes your choir sound great

                Look for the music that is appropriately, not overly challenging. Many great pieces are not difficult, but the are beautiful.

  • BriLee Music / Carl Fischer Series, responding to the needs of teachers

                BriLee is an excellent source for middle schools, Carl Fisher for high school repertoire

  • Contact Donald at Sheet Music Deals to set up a reading session for your district, and get some help finding exactly what you need for your choir.

Michael John Trotta is one of the most “exciting and prominent new composers of choral music,” a sought-after conductor, and dynamic clinician. He brings an “intimate knowledge of the human voice,” a “rare sensitivity to the capabilities of a choral ensemble,” and years of experience as an inspiring educator to thousands of singers each year. His award-winning commissions are frequently performed at Carnegie Hall, at national conventions (ACDA, NAfME, AGO, TMEA), and his recordings are broadcast worldwide. Dr. Trotta and his wife Rachel divide their time between New York City and Bay Head, NJ where he works as a full time composer, conductor, and clinician with choirs throughout the world. He recently released an emerging choir series with BriLee/Carl Fischer Music.

Resources/links Mentioned: Sponsored by:

Introducing Sheet Music Deals!

Sight Reading Factory (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for 10 free student accounts!)

My Music Folders (Use promo code “NINJA” at checkout for “last column” or best pricing - usually reserved for bulk purchases only!) WHILE YOU ARE THERE, PREORDER CHOIRS ARE HORRIBLE!

Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth
Users who viewed this episode also viewed...

Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth > Booster Benefits, with Lara Wolford

No matter where you direct, there never seems to be enough time or enough money. But there is a ready made support system of people already invested in the success of your program that may help you reclaim more of each. Lara Wolford discusses ways to use parent boosters to help with everything from fundraising to running sound at you concerts...

Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth > Imposter Syndrome? You’re Not Alone (or a narcissist), with Stevie Berryman

Imposter Syndrome is a thief; it steals joy from success, and pride from achievement. Feeling like your accolades are undeserved is a common occurrence among artists. Even when you feel secure in your abilities, the fear of looking foolish can keep you from taking the risks that lead to amazing opportunities...

Choir Ninja, with Ryan Guth > It's Worth It: Directing in Rural Communities, with Dr. Marlen Dee Wilkins

Life’s happy out in the sticks. It’s also hard, inconvenient, and sometimes lonely. But in this episode, Dr. Dee Wilkins talks to Ryan about why it’s worth it. There are real limitations in rural schools: numbers and funding will always be less than you want. But with creativity, heart, and an entrepreneurial mindset, you can still show you students a little bit of choral heaven...
Comments (0)

Login or Sign up to leave a comment.

Log in
Sign up

Be the first to comment.