Brock Keiper is a freelance music arranger and educator in the suburbs of Chicago and earned his Music Education degree from Elmhurst College. Currently Brock serves as the show choir combo director at Naperville North High School and works as a competition adjudicator and guest clinician with many show choir combos around the midwest.
As an arranger, Brock has written show choir charts for more than two hundred show choirs across the country. Brock was the recipient of the Best Arranger Aspire Award at the 2016 and 2017 Fame National Show Choir Finals.
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
I wish I had a fancy answer for this one, too, but really my process is as soon as I’m asked to arrange a particular tune it goes into a playlist that I listen to in the car and in my office when I’m doing administrative things so the ideas can start forming in my head immediately. Then when I sit down to write the chart, I’ve already got things brewing and it helps speed up the process. Sometimes the director/choreographer has done a very detailed job laying out the arrangement for me to fit their vision, sometimes I get a few bullet points of things to include, sometimes I just get a song title and just do my thing—I’m comfortable working in each of those scenarios.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
This is a tough question. I have so many that I would consider favorites. I will go with my first favorite, which is an opener arrangement of I Surrender by Celine Dion I wrote for a community group I was on the staff of in 2002-2003. We used that chart with our group for a competition season, and the very next year Scott Thorne bought the arrangement to use with his varsity group in Homewood, Alabama and it was the first time I ever sold an arrangement to a ‘big’ group. Over the course of the next decade I sold that arrangement more than 30 times to groups all over the country and the journey with that arrangement was just really special and I’m sure that’s why that one sticks out in my brain. I am in the process of revising and recording it this Spring to just hopefully give it some new life for the 20th Anniversary of the chart. Here is a link to Homewood’s performance of that arrangement from back in 2004: