Carroll’s new choir teacher settles in

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Ciera Simms

Patrick D’Amato is Carroll’s new Choir teacher.

Ciera Simms

Patrick D’Amato is the new Choir teacher at Archbishop Carroll. He arrived  in October.

“My experience at Carroll has been great so far,” D’Amato said. “I feel very supported by the staff and accepted by the students.”

D’Amato has a goal for the students.

“My entire goal for Choir and Mix Select Choir is to stretch and create more well-rounded music,” said D’Amato. 

D’Amato wants his students to find more in music than what is readily apparent.

“Music isn’t just about the notes on the page,” said D’Amato. “Every composer has a life that informed their writing of that piece.” 

He wants his learners to understand the emotions that the authors express in the songs.

“Every text and poem set to music has the author’s pain, love, humor behind it. I really want to dive deep into analyzing these pieces this semester to bring out the best musical interpretation from Choir and Mix Select.” D’Amato said.

Not only does D’Amato teach Choir and Mix Select, he also teaches Piano Lab.

“Piano Lab is fun as well because it is more personalized,” said D’Amato.

Piano Lab is unique because it is small, allowing for individualization.

“We only have six students, all of them at separate skill levels,” D’Amato said. “It’s fun watching them progress [while I] juggle trying to give six personalized lessons in a 45-minute class!”

In both Choir and Piano Lab, D’Amato’s aim is student growth.

“Just like in Choir and Piano Lab, I want the students to grow as performers, learn more about themselves and have the time of their life while they’re doing it,” said D’Amato. 

Not only is D’Amato is the teacher for Choir and Piano Lab, he is also the new music director for the spring show, Once Upon A Mattress. He’s really excited about the show.

“I LOVE musicals. I was a major theater nerd in high school/college until I became a music nerd,” D’Amato said. “I still do theater today, just as a pit musician or music director in all levels.”

The educational level is D’Amato’s favorite.

“I love educational theater because it offers the opportunity for direct feedback, which isn’t always present in community or professional theater,” D’Amato said.

D’Amato suggested he would give some feedback to those seeking help as they got ready to audition.

“I’m always looking for preparedness in auditions. It’s almost like an audition before you even sing! If you are organized, a clear communicator, and are poised, the audition almost always goes far better compared to someone who just found their song and printed out a bootleg copy of it the night before,” D’Amato said. “Those who put in the work are the ones that grabbed my attention.”

D’Amato’s students had some nice things to say about the new teacher.

“I’m excited to work with him in Once Upon A Mattress,” said senior Laura McMonagle, who is in D’Amato’s first-period Choir Class and is the head Choir librarian.

Senior Tori O’Donnell, who is in D’Amato’s first-period Choir class and is president of the Choir, called D’Amato “a great guy.”

“He works well with the students and he is a great addition to our faculty,” O’Donnell said.

D’Amato’s Choir students appreciate the new songs that they learn in Choir .

“He’s an amazing teacher and brings a lot of new music,” said a senior Emily McCormick, who is in D’Amato’s first-period Choir Class.