Eric Van Cleave is a musical arranger/orchestrator, director, and educational clinician. He has worked with many of the nation’s finest high school and college music programs as well as Cedar Fair Amusement Parks, Show Choir Camps of America, and Alfred Music Publications. Eric has also conducted the Illinois, Arizona, and New Mexico All State show choirs.
Eric spent thirteen years as director of choral activities at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana. He holds a B.A. in Education from Ball State University (chirp chirp!) and a M.B.A. from Indiana Wesleyan University.
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
I’m currently using a Macbook Pro to run Digital Performer, Sibelius and Encore (old Passport Designs software). I’m using a Yamaha MOX8 to drive a virtual library including East West’s Composer Cloud along with Superior Drummer, Trilian Bass, and several Kontact libraries. I use Final Cut Pro for video editing.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
For creative inspiration, I watch A LOT of youtube videos and scan Sirius radio channels. I also have several friends/choreographers/students who send me song and show ideas. I also believe it’s critical to the creative process to consume as much art as you produce. I prioritize spending time attending a wide variety of shows and concerts as well as museums, etc. It’s also good for the creative process to just get away from it from time to time. I believe it’s one key to curtailing burnout.
When working on a specific show choir arrangement, I spend time early in the process identifying the best key(s) for the client/group in order to accentuate their strengths and downplay any weaknesses.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
When I’m arranging, I try to avoid eating and drinking. I’m a spiller and I’m tired of buying new mouses! But I do keep a stash of go-to candy bars nearby at all times. I’m currently fixating on Baby Ruths.
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
I don’t know… Maybe I wish I would’ve known to buy a ton of Apple stock. 🙂
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
My best time-saving tip is: Don’t spill stuff on your mouse!
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
My favorite published arrangements include Morning Glow and Broken Wings https://bit.ly/3sfIVGS and my current favorite custom arrangements include Fantasy, Dancing Machine (Miami Mix) and BRAVE. https://ericvancleave.com/catalog
7. How can people get ahold of you?