BLUFFTON STUDENT’S MUSIC TO BE PUBLISHED
Last fall, Scott Troyer was a Bluffton University sophomore who wrote arrangements of some of his favorite Christmas carols for his saxophone trio to perform.
Soon, Troyer will be a published musician—"very unusual" for an undergraduate his age, according to his composition teacher at Bluffton, Dr. Peter Terry.
Six of Troyer’s Christmas arrangements have been accepted for publication by BRS Music, the same company that is publishing band music by Terry, an associate professor of music.
"Ever since I started studying with Peter, I had thought about getting something published," says Troyer, who began writing music as a junior at Garaway High School in Sugarcreek, Ohio. But he didn’t think about submitting the saxophone trio pieces initially, even though Dr. Adam Schattschneider, professor of music and Troyer’s saxophone instructor, suggested that he try.
"I don’t think I seriously considered it," Troyer says, "until Peter showed me the publishing company," which in March was seeking saxophone trio music for publication.
"When I saw that BRS was soliciting scores for this ensemble, I felt like he stood a pretty good chance," says Terry, recalling that "Scott’s arrangements struck me as being publishable when I first heard them. They are well written and technically accessible for a mix of performers from high school through professional players, and are for an ensemble that is often overlooked."
Terry and Schattschneider were instrumental in preparation of the pieces, which were recorded in Bluffton’s Yoder Recital Hall in April by the trio of Troyer, Schattschneider and Kitanya Murray, a senior from Findlay, Ohio. Jonathan Luginbill, a junior from Bluffton, served as engineer for the session, whose results bore fruit recently when Troyer received word of the impending publication of what BRS called "highly marketable" music.
One factor in Troyer’s success "was being able to rehearse and make adjustments to his arrangements as he worked on them," notes Schattschneider. "We spent several hours working on his trios before Christmas, and at rehearsals we tried several different options. Several changes were made through this process and were incorporated into the published arrangements."
"The fact that Scott didn’t get rejected on his first try is a major reflection on the quality of his work, and also on the positive value of treating your work as something deserving of respect," Terry says. "Scott pursued every aspect of this with professionalism. This was really a model of how to approach this career, and it paid off."
"It’s encouraged me a lot," says Troyer about the experience, which may not have happened if not for a change of college plans two years ago. At the time, he had been accepted elsewhere, but financial aid was an issue. So he visited several other campuses, including Bluffton, and between aid from the university and his church—Walnut Creek, Ohio, Mennonite—"it came out to something we could afford to do," he says.
After two years at Bluffton, "I don’t think I would have been as happy anywhere else," he adds, crediting his professors, particularly Terry and Schattschneider.
"After coming to Bluffton, I learned more about what goes into a good piece of music," says Troyer, who is now leaning toward a graduate program in either musicology or music theory after graduating from the university in 2013.
Bluffton public relations, 7/14/11