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Thomas Trotter papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1163

Scope and Content

This collection documents Thomas Trotter's education and career as an opera singer. Materials primarily include signed high school year books from Avondale High school, Avonues, and scrapbooks. Scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera that document Trotter's opera career. Of particular note are recordings of Trotter and his memorial service. Most of the cards and correspondence were sent by colleagues thanking and congratulating him in 2004 when he moved from New York to Atlanta.


  • 1978-2017, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center. The recordings listed are licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivsCC By-NC license, Copyright of the programs are owned by Thomas Trotter's heirs, Megan Masburn, Sandra Lutters, and St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Administrative/Biographical History

Thomas "Tommy" Trotter (1954-2017) was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Avondale High School in 1982 and the University of Georgia in 1986. After school, he became a professional operatic tenor, specializing in both classical music and cabaret. Over his twenty-five year career, he performed in more than fifty roles including Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Vanderdendur in Candide, Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd, and Li'l Bat in Susannah in theaters such as the Garth Newel Music Center, L'Orchestre de Beaux Arts, and Notre Dame Cathedral. He sang with many companies including the Shreveport Opera, the New York Opera Project, the Youngstown Symphony, the Anchorage Symphony, Albany Georgia Symphony, the New York Choral Symphony Society, and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony. Trotter won numerous awards including the Richard Gold Career Grant from the New York City Opera. Trotter and his partner, Holten Mastin (1926-2012), moved from New York to Atlanta in 2007 because of Mastin's ill health. Trotter continued to perform, opened a vocal studio in Atlanta, and later married Cecil Benoit. The couple moved to Hawaii to study in the Department of Music at the University of Hawaii at Mamoa.


4.76 linear ft. (three document cases and three oversize boxes)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audio recording are available in digital form. Please contact an archivist for access to these recordings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2017

Related Archival Materials

Visual materials have been separated from the collection. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2019

Thomas Trotter papers
Joshua Waldrop
May 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305