The Conductors

John Drotleff Conducting

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, Mendelssohn’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.


Michael K. Lisi, Associate Conductor has 28 years of experience as a Choral Director and music specialist in Ohio public schools. He is in his third year as Director of Choral Activities at Avon Lake HS after completing 16 years as Director of Vocal Music at Learwood Middle School.  He previously taught vocal music, grades K-12, in the Lakewood City Schools and Columbus Public Schools.  He also served as Assistant Director of the Columbus Boychoir, Director of the Riverside Academy of Music Chorale, and as a teacher with the Young Scholars Program at the Ohio State University.  

Mr. Lisi has presented clinics and reading sessions for both, the Ohio Music Educators Association and the Ohio Choral Directors Association state conferences.  His choirs have also been selected to perform at these events.  He has served OMEA as the District 4 Honor Choir Chairperson, as a member of the All State Choir selection committee, has been on the committee to select required music for district and state adjudicated events, is an adjudicator of voice, piano and choral events, was Chair of the Choral Activities Committee for the 2006 OMEA State Conference in Cleveland, has served as Junior High Affairs Chair, Vocal Affairs Chair on the Adjudicated Events Committee.  He has been responsible for overseeing the publication of sightreading compositions for District and State Choral Adjudicated Events and the committees which select literature for the required performance lists.  He has served as Middle School Repertoire and Standards Chair, Northeast Region Chair, and Newsletter Editor for the Ohio Choral Directors Association.  He presently sits on the Committee for Arts and Innovative Thinking, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Education.

Mr. Lisi is often called on as a guest conductor for district and county honor choirs and is sought as a clinician and speaker throughout the state of Ohio and beyond, most recently presenting at Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, as well as many other venues. Mr. Lisi served as a Guest Editorialist for Choral Director Magazine, authoring a series of articles titled, “The Choral Commission: A Model for Enrichment and Integration in the Middle School Choral Curriculum.  He has several times been listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Mr. Lisi holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Miami University, a Master of Arts degree in Music Education from Ohio State University, a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from Cleveland State University, and has taken courses toward a PhD in Music Education at Case Western Reserve University.