One of the unsung heroes of Magnolia Chorale is our intrepid accompanist Clint Gawthrop. Now in his eleventh year with the Chorale, Clint has played piano since third grade after his grandparents gave his family a piano for the previous Christmas. He hasn’t been away from a piano for more than two weeks since. Oh, and along the way he also learned to play trombone, violin, and organ.
Clint admits he didn’t practice quite as much as he should in the early years. Then, at 13 he attended a concert that featured another 13-year-old boy who had won a concerto competition. Realizing that with a little work he could be on stage rather than in the audience, Clint took a more serious approach to his training. He started studying with a well-known piano teacher in the area and worked his way up to practicing 2½ hours a day.
After college, he continued to play piano while his full time job was as a loan officer. Then about 18 years ago a few of his coworkers asked him to give piano lessons to their children. He enjoyed that experience so much that he eventually quit the day job and has been working as a full-time accompanist for choirs and weddings, piano teacher, and performer ever since.
Magnolia Chorale is one of the lucky beneficiaries of that decision. Beyond his tremendous musical skill and talent, Clint provides a lot of support for each vocal section during rehearsals. He says that comes from being a good listener and somewhat of a mind reader. “With a choir you have to listen for the parts that need help, and then over time, you can kind of predict where the director is going to go next. That saves a lot of time.”
A community of singers who enjoy spending time together making great music.