Director's life: All choir, all the time
Clintonville Community Choir leader Brandon Moss never had a doubt about his career path
When Tom Maxwell, founder of the Clintonville Community Choir, stepped down as the group's director almost exactly a year ago, he felt he was leaving the organization in capable hands.
The members of the choir agree.
"Brandon's resume and credentials were outstanding," said Laura Messerly, "and then when he came to rehearsal one evening so the choir and he could try one another on for size, it was the perfect fit. We have been truly blessed with another very talented director."
"Brandon" is Brandon L. Moss, and his job as conductor of the Clintonville Community Choir is only one of the many hats the 29-year-old Dublin resident is wearing these days.
Moss also is director of choirs for Westfall Local Schools, director of the Chalice Choir at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, assistant artistic director of the Columbus Gay Men's Chorus, summer conference chairman for the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and co-chairman of the 2013 Ohio All-State Chorus.
"This is an extreme pace to keep up," he admitted last week. "It is the life of somebody who does what I do, to have their hands in many things. It's nice that I can work with kids and it's nice that I can work with adults, volunteer adults and adults of all different kinds of backgrounds."
Moss will lift his hands to conduct the members of the Clintonville Community Choir during its spring concert, set for 2 p.m. April 28 at Calvary Bible Church, 3865 N. High St.
Admission is free. A goodwill offering will be collected to benefit the organization, said choir spokeswoman Adelynn McCoy.
During the April 28 event, the choir will perform pieces ranging from a madrigal to a more-current number with a jazzy swing, McCoy said. There also will be special music performed by the C'ville Songsters, the choir's a cappella singing group, she said.
Moss was a graduate student at Ohio State University when he took over for part of the 2012 season from Maxwell, who wanted to devote more time to Christian ministries and volunteer service work.
Moss now holds a degree in choral conducting from OSU, as well as a master of science degree in higher education administration from Drexel University.
"I come from a really musical family," said the native of Parkersburg, W.Va.
He began singing in choir while attending middle school and kept it up all the way through high school.
"There was no question when I went to college that I was going to major in music education," Moss said. "I just always wanted to be a music teacher, and that's essentially what I am now."
Moss came to central Ohio in 2001 to attend Otterbein University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in music education. He has taught at the middle school and high school levels in Dover City Schools and the Three Rivers Local School District in the Hamilton County village of Cleves.
It was while singing professionally in a church choir in Cincinnati, Moss said, that he decided to try his hand at conducting. It fit like a glove.
"I like watching an audience appreciate the work that a choir has done, but for me, the real job satisfaction doesn't come from the performance but rather during the rehearsals," Moss said. "I guess that's the teacher in me, watching the process.
"I can always find things for us to do better. I always try to give positive, encouraging feedback, but there are always things that can be done better.
"As a teacher or conductor of any kind, my greatest joy is in having a performance and having the choir members say, 'Yeah, we did really well, but we could have done this or could have done that.' "
Moss said he has found that attitude among the members of the Clintonville Community Choir, formed in 2005.
"I think they have a great sense of community, which is good, and they run themselves, which I enjoy," he said. "It lets me just come in and do artistic things. They've always had a good sound. They understand each other's voices and sing to each other's strengths."