John William Trotter, DMA

Assistant Professor of Choral Music, Director of Concert Choir
On Faculty since 2012

Office: McAlister Hall 101
Phone: (630)752-5841


DMA, University of Michigan

About John William Trotter

John William Trotter is a rapidly rising conductor on today's concert music stage.  His work from the podium has been recognized internationally through numerous prizes, grants, and guest conducting invitations.  To date, he has conducted more than a dozen professional orchestras and choirs in seven countries.  He is currently Associate Conductor of Canada's outstanding professional choir, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, an ensemble he has conducted in over twenty-five performances throughout Canada, Taiwan, and Japan.  His December 2010 performance of the Vivaldi Magnificat was hailed by the Vancouver Sun as "a radiant performance of this work that overstated nothing and brought out all of its freshness and charm."  In September 2011, Dr. Trotter's season opening concert with the Vancouver Chamber Choir was recorded by CBC Radio for national broadcast.  

As part of his work with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Dr. Trotter has established and enhanced new and existing outreach/engagement programs for composers, conductors, singers, and audiences.  He also serves as Music Director of the Pacifica Singers, a newly-formed small vocal ensemble which provides experienced and motivated choral singers with direct exposure to the world of professional music making. 

Mr. Trotter earned both his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Conducting at the University of Michigan, the #1 ranked conducting training program in the United States.  During his residence at U-M, he also served as Music Director of numerous ensembles and helped train undergraduate conductors.  While still a Masters student at university, Trotter was selected as one of ten emerging conductors (and the only Canadian) to conduct the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra as part of the Eric Ericson International Master Class on Choral and Orchestral conducting.  While completing work on the same degree, he was awarded second prize overall (the best result for a North American conductor) in the Graduate Division of the American Choral Directors Association Student Conducting Competition, involving Masters and Doctoral-level conductors from several countries.  

The following year, Trotter was awarded the highest value individual grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and during the summer season was selected to conduct in concerts with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus and Orchestra.  Alongside his full-time studies at the University of Michigan, Trotter directed the 80-voice U-M Arts Chorale, served as Interim Music Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale, and was Guest Chorusmaster for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. 

A versatile artist, Trotter's work now ranges from traditional choral/orchestral repertoire, new music and film score recording to various forms of outreach and advocacy as a consultant/clinician, adjudicator, conducting teacher, writer, and speaker.  He is well known for his ability to connect with audiences and for his interest in building bridges between the professional music world, music training institutions, and the wider community.  He has written articles for several music publications and is a contributing author for the recently published book Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir – Volume 3, published by GIA.

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