Faculty Profiles

John Trotter

John William Trotter, D.M.A.

Professor of Music (Concert Choir, Conducting)

On Faculty since 2012
Armerding 212


Conductor John William Trotter has conducted more than a dozen professional choirs and orchestras on three continents, and studies and teaches widely in the areas of music, leadership, and the role of the arts in society. He serves as Associate Professor of Music at Wheaton College and Artistic Director of the professional ensemble Chicago a cappella.

Trotter’s performances have attracted special attention for their freshness and authenticity. His various ensembles have been honored with invitations to perform live at national, regional, and state conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Chorus America, and the National Association for Music Education, and have been broadcast throughout North America on NPR and CBC among others. While on sabbatical in the UK he was a Visiting Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and taught conducting in the Masters in Choral Studies program.  At the invitation of the Far East Broadcasting Company, in 2017 he led the Wheaton College Concert Choir on tour throughout South Korea, where he (and five Wheaton College student conductors) led twenty performances including several broadcasts.

Under his direction, the Wheaton College Concert Choir have become recognized for their innovative approach to masterworks, such as their semi-staged production of Handel’s Messiah, exploration of interdisciplinary collaborations with dancers, painters, and actors, and direct engagement with audiences in concert halls, homeless shelters, and with inmates at a state prison.

Trotter earned the Doctorate in Conducting from the University of Michigan (the top-ranked conducting program in North America) and undertook further advanced studies with Eric Ericson, Helmuth Rilling, Andrew Parrott, and Jon Washburn. He now trains young conductors and serves as a resource to mid-career professionals through conference presentations and workshops. His conducting students have distinguished themselves by taking up significant positions, gaining entrance to the top-ranked graduate programs in North America, and earning national recognition at the ACDA Student Conducting Competition. Trotter 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. His activities now range from choral/orchestral masterworks, jazz, new music and film score recording to work as a consultant, clinician, adjudicator, conducting teacher, composer/arranger, writer, speaker, and leader of improvisation workshops.

University of Michigan
D.M.A. conducting, 2009

University of Michigan
M.M. conducting, 2007

The Royal Conservatory
A.R.C.T. piano performance, 2000

University of British Columbia
B.M. general studies, 1998

  • Choral conducting
  • Orchestral conducting
  • Leadership development
  • The arts and society