From his dedication and involvement in decades of departmental musical theatre productions, focused feedback and support for instrumental music students in his one-on-one applied piano lessons and accompaniment for vocal ensembles and vocal senior recitals, staff accompanist Vincent (Vinny) Trovato has been a pillar of Muhlenberg’s artistic community, and a resource for folks on campus who value continuing dedication, personability and quality in Muhlenberg’s music education.
“I definitely do connect with my colleagues on staff, but if I’m being honest, I’m sixty-one, and I connect best with the students I teach,” said Trovato. “It’s a very special student body, and over the years I’ve been able to meet some great people doing shows and helping with ensembles”
Trovato has worked with the theatre department a number of times during his career at Muhlenberg, taking on the role of musical director on a number of mainstage musical theatre productions, including “Miss You Like Hell” by Quiara Alegría Hudes during the spring 2022 season, Kurt Weill’s “The Threepenny Opera” in the fall 2022 season, and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” during the fall 2019 season, most recently.
When asked what his favorite music directing experience at Muhlenberg was, Trovato explained that his two favorite moments were the department of theatre and dance’s summer music theatre (SMT) production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita,” which he explained gave him his first opportunity to conduct during a live show, as well as the department’s spring 2022 mainstage production of “Miss You Like Hell,” in which he took on the role of music director.
One of Trovato’s most challenging moments as an accompanist at Muhlenberg took place over the course of a few semesters, when the Muhlenberg chamber singers took on the challenging task of performing Jonathan Dove’s choral setting of the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” for two SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choirs and piano.
Trovato said, on accompanying this piece, that “[Dove] always writes chaotic pieces. This one though, I played it as written, but it made me do some things that strayed so far from what pianists are ever asked to do, it just flies around everywhere.”
On the other hand, Trovato explained that a defining experience at Muhlenberg was the work he did with the cast and pit of “Into the Woods” in 2019,
“It’s a very special student body, and over the years I’ve been able to meet some great people doing shows and helping with ensembles”-Vincent Trovato
“Oh ‘Into the Woods’ was a fun one for sure,” said Trovato. “Of all the shows I would have to say that working on that one had to be the most rewarding.”
Trovato hopes for a continued fruitful future in music-making with the student and staff population, and reinstates the values that have made his Muhlenberg experience so rewarding in the context of an upcoming decline in enrollment for the College:
“With what the College is going through right now, I’d love to have a job in the future,” said Trovato. “But otherwise, I’m hopeful for more of the same–meeting new people, making music and bringing music to as many people as we can.”