To say that Mitch Rorick’s life is consumed with music is a huge understatement. First off, he’s associate director of music at Trinity English Lutheran Church in downtown Fort Wayne.
That means he and Director of Music Bob Hobby alternate playing the organ for church services and conducting the adult choir. Directing the children’s choir (third- through sixth-graders) falls under his scope of responsibility. He directs two handbell choirs at his church. He also conducts the Boys Choir of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, is faculty adviser/director of the IPFW Singing Dons male chorus and sings baritone with Heartland Sings.
On top of all that, Rorick has been named president-elect of the Indiana Choral Directors Association. His first job with the Association is to start figuring out the logistics for the organization’s 2018 Summer Conference to be held at the University of Indianapolis. He’s charged with finding housing for 100 choral directors from throughout Hoosierland and providing them with food. Rorick is already searching out clinicians (choral music experts) from outside the state to lead seminars. The All-State Jazz Honor Choir made up of high school students from across the state will perform.
Rorick, who will become president of ICDA in 2019, is approaching his position as one of being an advocate for choral music and to provide resources to the organization’s members. The association has extensive lists of all kinds of music which he will utilize to help directors choose music.
A choral director’s life is a busy one. Rorick, Hobby and 17 students and chaperones in the church’s youth choir (grades seven through 12) went to Mackinac Island last month as a treat for their hard work throughout the year rehearsing and singing at church services. “It included singing at a church in Holland, Michigan, community and spiritual enrichment and a lot of fun,” said Rorick. He also took his grade school choir to Cincinnati where they sang at a church, gobbled up Skyline Chili and visited the Newport, Ky., aquarium. Last month he also worked with students attending the church’s Shining Lights Summer Fine Arts program which concluded with him serving as musical director for a Christian musical production.
The Columbus, Ohio, native began his music career as an alto saxophonist in the Grove City High School marching band. At Wheaton College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance on the pipe organ, he began broadening his tastes to include choral music. His master’s degree from Indiana University is in organ and church music and he has a second master’s degree in choral conducting from Florida State University.
Rorick married Laura Dallman five years ago and moved to Fort Wayne to assume his present position at Trinity English Lutheran Church. At that time the couple made an ironclad agreement that when she completed her doctorate in musicology from Indiana University they would go to Europe. They’re presently touring France, Germany and Italy.
He readily admits that music is a big part of his life. “I like choral music because it encompasses a wide variety of styles and is something I can do for the rest of my life. I welcome others to participate in this great choral art,” he said. Rorick is a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Choristers Guild and Toastmasters. He’s also an avid Ohio State University football fan.