Faculty & Staff (A-Z)

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Milton Crotts

Faculty Information
Location(s) Upper School
Title(s) Director of Upper School Music Program
Contact Information
School Email
Degree(s) Doctor of Musical Arts, University of South Carolina at Columbia
Master of Music Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Bachelor of Music Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Other Information

Dr. Milton Crotts is the Director of the Upper School Music Program. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Doctorate in Musical Arts in conducting. Dr. Crotts' earlier academic appointments include Associate Professor of Music at Davidson College and the University of Guam, Director of Choirs at Warren Wilson College, and Director of the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at UNC Asheville. He was Music Director of the Guam Symphony for 14 years and has been Music Director of the Blue Ridge Orchestra since 2011. A native North Carolinian, Dr. Crotts recently returned from a teaching appointment at the American School in Japan. He has conducted orchestras in Tokyo and across the United States, engaging audiences with his creative programming and imaginative performances.


How would you describe your classroom?

“I strive to create and promote a healthy teaching/learning environment for positive interaction and exchange with three main goals for the student's experience:
     1) Leave a rehearsal or concert knowing you have participated in something worth your time,

     2) look forward to the next ensemble rehearsal or performance opportunity and

     3) Be inspired to practice”

What books and authors inspire you?

“I enjoyed reading Sarah Vowell's Lafayette in the Somewhat United States and The Wordy Shipmates, and Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals.


I find inspiration in the symphonies of Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, and Brahms; Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring; and Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances."


What is your favorite poem?

   “Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
   and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
   and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

   Let the beauty we love be what we do.
   There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

     ~ Rumi (Translation by Coleman Barks)


How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less?  

“Students will fulfill teacher's expectations; talk less and listen more.”


Which classroom projects are you known for?

“Making connections and discovery through music as a functional activity in people's lives, as a symbol of historical/national identity and as a form of artistic expression.”


What personal passion brings balance to your life?

Family and music!”


Is there anything else we should know about you and your work?

“During my recent appointment at the American School in Japan, I re-discovered how particularly satisfying it is to work with high school students. This experience reignited the flame that led me to music education in the first place - the desire and drive to make an inspiring difference in the lives of young adults, as my own high school band director did in mine and countless others'.  I was reminded of the rewards of working with young adults in their formative years, and of their enthusiasm for music, yearning for knowledge, and joy for performance and practice.”

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