John Drotleff, conductor of the West Shore Chorale and Orchestra since 1984, is the fourth conductor of the Chorale.
Mr. Drotleff has directed choirs and taught music in northeastern Ohio since 1961 in four public schools, three colleges, seven churches and three community choruses. His work in high schools and colleges has included appearances at state adjudicated events, professional music conferences, and tours throughout the East and Midwestern parts of the country, including venues in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Indianapolis, and Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center and The National Cathedral.
Mr. Drotleff has served as a guest conductor and workshop clinician for many musical groups and professional organizations in the Northeastern part of the United States. His conducting repertoire includes such works as Bach’s Magnificat and B Minor Mass, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Berlioz’s Te Deum, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor, Dvorák’s Te Deum, Handel’s Messiah, Dettingen Te Deum, and Zadok the Priest, Haydn’s Creation, Lord Nelson Mass, Mass in the Time of War, Theresienmesse, Harmoniemesse, Creation Mass, Heiligmesse and Te Deum, Mendelsohn’s Elijah, Lobgesang, and St. Paul, Mozart’s Regina Coeli, Missa Brevis in F, Vesperae Solennis de Confessore, and Mass in C Minor (The “Great”), Szymanowski, Stabat Mater, the Requiems of Brahms, Mozart, Faure, and Durufle, numerous contemporary composers and several hundred compositions from the traditional choral repertoire.
He has been a member of numerous professional organizations, but he is most grateful for his association with Ohio Choral Directors Association, where he twice served as President and has received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award.
He lives in Lakewood with his wife, Judy. Their son, Stefan, daughter-in-law, Misty, and grandson, Maxwell live nearby. He credits his first music teachers during elementary school, Christine Knuth and James Ramsey with nurturing his interest in music. He graduated from Dana School of Music, a division of Youngstown State University, and Columbia University with additional work at Westminster Choir College. He has attended courses, clinics, and master classes given by many notable conductors throughout the country.