Matt Letteri is usually a laid-back, fun-loving guy who doesn’t worry about things. But right now, nerves are getting to him as his March audition for Wright State’s vocal program looms closer and closer.
Letteri only started singing this year. He joined Fairmont’s Men’s Chorus and, to his surprise, discovered that he really enjoys it. “Mr. McDonald is just awesome. He has done a really good job of encouraging me and motivating me to do my best.”
Letteri decided he likes singing so much, he’s going to continue with it in college. He plans to attend Wright State University. “The professors there have encouraged me to audition and have been really supportive,” he said. Letteri wants to major in music education and be a middle school or high school music teacher, specifically a choral director. “I don’t know very much about singing yet, but in college I am going to learn everything about singing, from languages to techniques to history.”
Rather than slacking off the last semester of his senior year, Letteri’s days are consumed with his musical endeavors. “I’m usually at school until about 9 at night with all of the music ensembles I do,” he said.
Letteri is very involved in the music program at Fairmont, and along with his new passion for singing, he also plays several instruments. He plays the clarinet in the Marching Band and Wind Ensemble. He also plays the saxophone in the Jazz Band and plays the bass at his church, Central Christian.
“Music is just a passion of mine,” said Letteri. “I got started early and the people who are in the music programs with me are like my family.”
While Letteri is uncharacteristically nervous for his audition into the vocal program at Wright State, he should be confident, because he has stellar grades to accompany his performance. Along with being extremely active in the Fairmont Music Department, he has also maintained a 3.68 GPA while taking rigorous classes such as AP Calculus, AP English and IB Music.
In addition to being a top-notch student, Letteri can also impress with his personality. “Matt is an energetic, good-natured, music-loving guy with an awesome sense of humor,” said Jazz Band Director Dan Nicora. “He is modest and kind and just a great person.”
Letteri’s inspiration for becoming a teacher comes from watching Nicora, his role model. “He was my band teacher in middle school and now for the Jazz Band at Fairmont,” said Letteri. “He is such a great guy and the kind of teacher I want to be.”
Nicora believes that Matt will be successful in his life. “I am honored to be a role model to Matt and hope that one day Matt enjoys teaching as much as I do with him,” said Nicora. “He continues to grow as a musician and develop his craft, and someday, I hope we can collaborate.”
Letteri is pushing himself to become a better singer by going above and beyond. He’s participating in the spring musical, Sweeney Todd, and has a leading role as the judge. (The spring musical debuts April 22. To find out more information, click here.)
Letteri also started a barbershop quartet group with a few friends. “It’s just an impromptu group and we just sing for fun,” he said. So, why does Letteri devote so much time to singing? A smiling Letteri said, “It’s just something I love to do and one of the few things I am good at.”
Fun Facts about Matt Letteri
~ He likes Klezmer music, which is Jewish folk music that originated during the Middle Ages in the ghettos of Eastern Europe. Klezmer bands usually include a fiddle, a bass or cello, a clarinet and a drum.
~ He refers to his purple minivan as “the man van.”
~ He has a profound dislike for actor Vince Vaughn.
~ He is a huge Steelers fan.