Mitchell Martinez sees a choral classroom as a place where students progress into better humans.

The shy become confident, the lonely become included, the agitated become calm, and the quiet become heard,” he said. “The potential for student growth in the choral classroom is staggering. Fostering that growth is my true motivation for being a music educator.”

Martinez will be fostering that growth at Smith-Cotton High School, as he was hired as S-C’s next vocal music director during the closed session of the Jan. 28 Sedalia School District 200 Board of Education meeting. Martinez officially takes the role on July 1.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in music education at Northwest Missouri State University (2020), Martinez studied at Oklahoma State University, where he expects to earn his master’s degree in choral conducting in May. He did his student teaching in the Platte County R-3 District, instructing high school choral ensembles and helping prepare students for MSHAA solo and small ensemble music competitions.

My passion for music education lies in the progression of my students through choral music. Success for a choral ensemble takes hard work, discipline, and a strong work ethic,” he said. “The process of preparing a performance can be grueling at times, but the product is an amazing experience the students get to share with their community.”

Smith-Cotton Activities Director Rob Davis is eager to welcome Martinez into the Tigers family.

In the interview process, we were impressed by Mr. Martinez’s passion for vocal music and vision for elevating the level of S-C students’ performances,” Davis said. “We are confident he will make positive impressions in the classroom and on stage.”

Martinez’s goals for the vocal music program include earning awards at show choir competitions and the MSHSAA Large Ensemble Music Festival, along with coaching students to earn all-district and all-state recognitions.

Those specific goals are great; who does not love to win, and have accolades for their program?” he said. “However, the winning and the accolades are secondary to my ultimate goal for the choirs at Smith-Cotton: blanket respect. My hope is to build a statewide reputation for our choral program and the individual singers in it. I want audiences to know they are about to witness something special because a choir, or a student, from Smith-Cotton High School, just took the stage.”