Arts Chorale Retreat
John Trotter, Conductor


John Trotter

Canadian-born John William Trotter is currently in residence in the Doctoral conducting program at the University of Michigan. While at the University he has also served as assistant instructor of conducting, Conducting Faculty of the Residential College, and Opera Chorusmaster. Trotter's conducting work has been recognized internationally through numerous prizes, grants, and guest conducting invitations; to date he has conducted over a dozen professional choirs and orchestras in five countries. In 2007, while still a Masters student, Trotter was awarded second prize in the Graduate Division of the ACDA Student Conducting Competition. In 2008 he was awarded a major individual grant by the Canada Council for the Arts, and during the summer season conducted in concerts with Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus.

Trotter's pursuit of advanced conducting training has taken him across North America and Europe, including studies with Jerry Blackstone, Kenneth Kiesler, Helmuth Rilling, Jon Washburn, Andrew Parrott, Eric Ericson, and others. His ongoing professional conducting work ranges from traditional choral/orchestral repertoire, new music and film score recording to various forms of outreach as a clinician, adjudicator, conducting teacher, keynote speaker, and leader of improvisation workshops. His guest conducting appearances in 2008/09 will include concerts with the Windsor Classic Chorale and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. For more information, visit

Alejandro Manso, Assistant Director

Assistant Director

Alejandro Manso

Alejandro Manso is currently in his second year in the Master's degree of Choral Conducting at the University of Michigan. He received his bachelor's degree in vocal education at Simpson College in Indianola, IA. Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, Alejandro began music at an early age taking voice and piano lessons. Studying voice in his undergraduate degree, he discovered his passion for conducting in his classes. He has studied with ensembles such as Chanticleer and the Westminster Chamber Choir in Florence, Italy. Alejandro has had the opportunity to assist and lead such ensembles as The Residential College Choir, the University Choir and Orpheus Singers at the University of Michigan. In addition to conducting, Alejandro has sung in many operatic performances and choral ensembles. He looks forward to the opportunity to work with eager and talented musicians and is grateful for the opportunity to work with the wonderful and extremely talented singers of Arts Chorale.

Brandon Straub, Accompanist


Brandon Straub

Brandon, a native of Michigan, is currently pursuing a M.M. in Choral Conducting. Before coming to University of Michigan this fall, Brandon served for four years as the Oaklawn-Tuttle Chair of Vocal Music at The Hill School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Hill he directed the choral ensembles and musicals, taught the History of Art and Music, and served as the school's organist. Over the past three summers, he has served as a conductor, coach-accompanist, and instructor of advanced musicianship on the faculties of the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA) and Interlochen Arts Camp. Brandon earned a B.A. in Music Education from Michigan State University. As a student, he served as a singer and accompanist for numerous choral ensembles and opera productions, including the MSU Men's Glee Club. Brandon is also currently the Director of Music at First Baptist Church in Ann Arbor.

Executive Board Officers

Codi Sharp, President


Codi Sharp

Codi is a sophomore in LSA. She's majoring in the Program in the Environment and currently completely unsure of how she wants to apply this degree. When she's not singing with Arts Chorale, Codi is a peer advisor for a living-learning community on campus called the Michigan Community Scholars Program and leads an SLC study group for CHEM 215. Hobbies include splashing in mud puddles, jumping rope to the Beatles, and saving the planet. She started singing with AC freshman year, and hopes that you will join too! As President, Codi's job is to ensure that everything in choir and the executive board runs smoothly. If you need to reach Codi, or have any choir-related concern, question, or information please email her at

Lauren Rajewski, Vice-President


Lauren Rajewski

Lauren is a sophomore in the College of Engineering. Arts Chorale rehearsal is her favorite part of the week, and now she handles all publicity and advertising for choir recruitment and concerts. Outside of Arts Chorale, you can probably find her hanging out with her friends or shopping, but more realistically studying in the UGLi. Want to know more about the choir? Even better, do you like singing AND passing out quarter-sheets? Email Lauren at

Mo Stych, Secretary


Maureen Stych

Maureen (or Mo, as nearly everyone calls her), is an undeclared LSA sophomore leaning towards Pre-Med and/or History of Art. As Secretary of Arts Chorale, Mo is (happily) learning everyone's names so she can take attendance at practice. She is also in charge of organizing carpools and t-shirt purchasing, which she undertakes with enthusiasm, as she enjoys road trips and designing t-shirts. On campus, she is Co-Managing Design Layout and Design Editor at The Michigan Daily Newspaper, and a Photographer at the Michiganensian Yearbook. When she isn't singing with the AC (a rare sight, indeed), Mo is usually writing letters, designing postcards, watching "Law & Order" or "House," taking pictures, or doing Will Shortz's crosswords. Questions? Email Mo at

Carrie Schalm, Treasurer


Carrie Schalm

Carrie is a junior in LSA and is majoring in Financial Math with a minor in Musicology. Outside Arts Chorale, Carrie enjoys playing piano, watching The Office reruns, and doing community service through APO. This is her fourth semester in Arts Chorale, and she is in charge of all choir finances and member dues. E-mail her at if you have any questions regarding dues or any other AC information, fiscal or otherwise.

John Niesen, Music Manager

Music Manager

John Niesen

John Niesen is a sophomore in the College of Engineering. He is majoring in Aerospace Engineering, and hopes to also complete an LSA Music minor. He has been in Arts Chorale every semester he has been at the University, and would like to continue that trend. Outside of Arts Chorale, John enjoys playing his guitar, singing, and hanging out with his friends. John is in charge of passing out and collecting music. If you need to reach John for any reason whatsoever you can do so at

Caleb Heyman, Historian


Caleb Heyman

Caleb is a sophomore english and history major from Ardsley, New York, just outside of New York City. This is his third semester in AC. He joined because he has always wanted sing outside of his shower and car, but never took the initiative to join a choir. He's really excited to have a leadership position; he can't wait to get to know everyone better. He spends most of his studying hours at Espresso on State Street, so if anyone has a choir-history emergency (of which he's sure there will be many) that is the most likely place to find him. If, for whatever reason, you can't find him at Espresso, send him an email at He's looking forward to serving you all!

Daniel Cox, Webmaster


Daniel Cox

Daniel is a sophomore in Civil Engineering and hopes to acquire a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering before leaving the University - mostly so that he can stay in Arts Chorale for an extra year. After attaining his graduate degree, he will require everyone to call him "Master Cox" with a Brittish Accent. Until then, however, calling him "Dan" will suffice. On the rare occasion that he is not singing with Arts Chorale, he can be found on stage (or behind the scenes or writing) with the RC Players, or playing with his guitar and writing ridiculous songs in the Arb when it's not too chilly. Dan is also in charge of updating the website, so shoot him an email at if you have any comments or concerns regarding this site.