Just like students at KO, teachers have passions that go far beyond the classroom. Whether it is hiking, biking, or photography, each faculty member has unique interests that students might not even be aware of. This certainly holds true for choir director Steve Mitchell. While he directs the Concert Choir, Oxfordians, and Voce Novissima at KO, Mr. Mitchell also actively engages with the community outside of KO through his passion for music. “Besides my teaching at KO, I am a professional musician,” Mr. Mitchell said. “I sing with several professional choirs in town. I also do musical theater, such as Broadway and cabarets. It’s basically my job outside of school!”
Mr. Mitchell sings with Concora, a professional choir that sings in the Hartford area, works several events including weddings, and even performs his own shows. Right now, he is working on premiering a new musical at Hartford Stage in December. “The show is being written right now, so it’s just a public reading, which I am very excited about,” he said. In addition, he performs small cabaret shows for Night Fall, an outdoor community performance held in Hartford. He produces a show each year in support of Night Fall.
Recently, Mr. Mitchell was asked to be the featured soloist at the Masterwork Chorale in Chatham, New Jersey. One of the fellow musicians that Mr. Mitchell works with in the Hartford area also works with the chorale in New Jersey, and he invited Mr. Mitchell to come perform with the group. “They were having a fundraising benefit, where they did concert Broadway music with a chorus and the orchestra, and they hired me to be the soloist working with the chorus,” Mr. Mitchell said. “I worked on my own set of music of Broadway and cabaret tunes.”
Musically, Mr. Mitchell tends to gravitate toward both classical and popular music, and he tries really hard to do his best with both. However, what he is most interested in currently is Broadway music. “I also love singing with an orchestra or a live band. It’s such a great honor to be able to do that,” he said.
It is clear that Mr. Mitchell’s musical taste and talent is not one to be overlooked, but rather celebrated. Whether he is singing with a choir, performing in a show, or simply listening to his favorite pieces, Mr. Mitchell’s passion for the arts is certainly evident both in and beyond KO.