Michael is a Music Education Major at Illinois State University where he arranges for the ISU Clef Hangers as well as multiple show choirs.
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
As a college student, my setup is small and mobile; my apartment bedroom is currently equipped with a laptop, keyboard, and microphone. I use MuseScore for notation, and I’ve been using it for years, so I know the ins and outs of how to make my scores look just as professional as other software.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
When starting a new piece, I typically listen to the song on repeat for a while. I think of ways to adapt what I hear, but also search for moments to put myself on the page. I was always told, “there’s no need to do a second verse if you’re not doing something different.” I love targeting that part of a song and using it to surprise the audience.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
Lots and lots of water! I like hot tea too when I’m working for a while.
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
I wish I had known about this community sooner! I’ve met some of the most encouraging and supportive people here!
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
Holding down shift or control to select parts that need to be edited, copied, erased, etc.
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
I am proudest of is my SATB a cappella arrangement, Full Circle. It is a medley of “Nobody Love” by Tori Kelley, “Y” by Citizen Queen, and “Good Things Fall Apart” by ILLENIUM with Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” motif sprinkled in throughout. The set was used by the ISU Clef Hangers to compete in ICCA 2022. We placed first overall in our quarterfinal, and I was awarded Outstanding Arrangement for the entire show!
My favorite show choir pieces are “Granted” by Josh Groban and “Never Lookin’ Back” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd (https://www.instagram.com/tv/
7. How can people get ahold of you?
I’m working hard to create a place for my music, but for now, I’m doing everything custom! Please reach out to me here for Show Choir and A Cappella scores of all levels and voicings!:
Facebook: Michael St. Aubin
Phone: (815) 954-0983