Braden Pontoli is composing an evening of dance choreographed by director Sarah Morrison entitled “Within the Space of Dreams.” He is also the director of vocal music at Learwood Middle School, the only 7-8 building in Avon Lake City Schools, Avon Lake, Ohio. He maintains a tradition of excellent singing with four curricular choirs (Over 400 students) and formed an extra-curricular choir, the Learwood A Cappella Ensemble. His choirs have received superior ratings at the Ohio Music Education Association’s Large Group Adjudication and Superior and Excellent ratings at OMEA Solo and Ensemble. His choirs have toured and have performed in places such as the Ohio Statehouse, Ohio State University, Baldwin Wallace University and on Cleveland’s Channel 19 Action News. Braden is also the music director at Rocky River United Methodist Church, where he directs the 40 voice chancel choir, oversees two bell choirs, a children’s choir and a contemporary worship team. As a clinician, Braden guest conducted the 2016 OMEA District 5 Jr. High Honors Choir and will conduct the 2019 PMEA District 5 High School Honors Choir. Braden is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Director’s Association.
Braden sings with the Baldwin Wallace University Men’s Chorus, a community choir. In 2015, Braden sang in the Westminster Choir College Summer Choral Festival under the direction of Dr. Joe Miller and Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. Braden received his bachelors of Music Education from Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. During his time at BW, he managed the BW Men’s Chorus for 2 years, served as student conductor of the BW Men’s Chorus, and helped form/direct Mr. Sun’s Echo, an all-male a cappella ensemble. Braden served as president of the Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association’s local BW chapter. Braden was a member of both University Choir and Motet Choir during his years in the conservatory. In 2009, he toured with the Motet Choir to surrounding cities in the tri-state area. He also sang in three annual Bach Festivals, the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. Braden was selected to perform in the Mel Hakola Vocal Music Scholarship Competition at BW. During his collegiate summers, he worked as an intern at the Arts Education Collaborative in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2012, Braden had the opportunity to teach elementary students in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica teaching Jamaican folk song and Afro-Cuban drumming.
As an active composer, Braden composes and arranges choral and instrumental music. In 2011, Braden was commissioned to write music for the BW Dance Department in a collaboration entitled fyoo zh en where student composers were matched with student choreographers to create a collaborative work. Braden is excited to collaborate with Morrisondance on Cleveland Public Theater’s Danceworks Series in June, 2017 as he writes original music and will perform live on stage. You can find Braden’s work online at www.soundcloud.com.