Michael T. Roberts
Michael T Roberts writes music for voices—mostly classical, inspired by his vernacular roots. He spent his formative years as a songwriter and improviser on electric guitar in rock, jazz, and funk, where music is good if the melodies make you want to sing and the rhythms make you want to move. He brings these instincts to the concert hall, where music is good if makes you think as well as feel, where tradition is deep but individuality is prized.
Growing up in New Canaan, CT, Roberts first experienced choral music through weekly hymn singing at the Congregational Church. He thought it was pretty boring.
In his senior year at Dartmouth, he sang in a performance of Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil, conducted by his friend Steven Fox. The power of that music blew his mind—and his perception of choral music—completely away.
He didn’t have much time to think about it then—he was busy writing his rock opera, Lotus Blooming in a Sea of Fire, and his band Stand Up Eight had just released its second album—but the All-Night Vigil was a seed that took root deep in his soul. It was a passion for the power of the human voice—a power he felt multiplied exponentially when many voices joined to sing together. As that seed sprouted, grew, and flowered through the years, he dedicated his musical life to writing for voice.
Roberts’ mission is to inspire, enlighten, and entertain through this greatest of all instruments. His greatest joy is to draw people together with music, to connect listeners and performers with poetry, history, faith, meaningful stories, and sacred places.
Roberts received his M.M. in Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied under David Garner and studied choral writing and art song with David Conte. He received his B.A. in Music from Dartmouth College, where he studied with Kui Dong. He has also studied at the Royal College of Music in London and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.