Wilson Smith is a vocalist, arranger, composer, and music director based out of Nashville, TN. Wilson found his footing at Center Grove High School, singing with Sound System and CG Singers for 4 years. A soon-to-be recent graduate of Belmont University, Wilson is working actively as an arranger inside and outside of the show choir community. Wilson arranges for dozens of scholastic a cappella groups, continues to write charts for his alma mater, and has been assisting Garrett Breeze as a transcriber/copyist since the summer of 2019. If you’re looking for a fresh arranger with a versatile and dynamic skillset, Wilson is actively seeking to expand his roster of collaborators as graduatuon and more availability looms.
1. Please describe your basic setup. (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
My arranging set up is pretty simple. I run Sibelius off of my laptop, and do everything at my makeshift, at-home studio in Nashville.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
My #1 goal as an arranger is to set the singers up for success. I like to get a very thorough description of the voice parts within a specific ensemble, learn a lot about a group’s strengths/weaknesses, and listen to any recordings of the group available. Great arranging starts with intention, and nothing creates magical moments like a group of singers who are truly owning the material they’re performing.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
I am a huge coffee drinker. I operate on an approximate 3:1 ratio regarding cups of coffee consumed/charts finished.
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
In my earlier years, I wrote for the rhythm section in a way that supported the ensemble, but not necessarily in a way that enhanced the arrangement. I wish I would’ve had a more holistic understanding of the relationship between choir and show band.
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
The “filter” tool in Sibelius is my best friend. At least 2/3rds of my formatting/engraving process are aided by this feature.
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
7. How can people get ahold of you?
My website is currently under construction, but feel free to reach out to me via e-mail, email@example.com, for any show choir or contemporary a cappella arranging needs. I’d love to collaborate with you!