Web Design Case Study: Mark Patterson Music

Screenshot of new website for Mark Patterson Music
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Written by Karen Carps

May 21, 2020

With my degree in music from East Carolina University (Go Pirates!), I always get excited to work with musicians. Fortunately, I’ve had a decent influx of musical clients lately! This proves mutually beneficial for a couple of reasons. First of all, I understand what musicians need and love working with them. Secondly, they actually get to work with a web professional who “speaks music”. Believe me, this is a rare combination. When Dr. Mark Patterson from Mark Patterson Music contacted me, the prospect of working together excited me. Today, I want to talk about his journey to the GuppyFish Web Design Portfolio.

Who is Dr. Patterson?

Before I get into the specifics of the website project, let’s introduce Dr. Patterson. From his website:

“Dr. Mark Patterson (b.1969) is a nationally acclaimed composer, conductor and teacher.”

Well known in the choral music world, choral music organizations all over the United States seek out Dr. Patterson to guest conduct ensembles and perform clinics. He also composes and arranges music, both for piano and for choral groups. Since his compositions include both secular and sacred works, many choirs have been able to perform his music.

In addition to composing, conducting and offering clinics, Dr. Patterson serves as the music director at Salisbury Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, Virginia. He conducts choirs ranging from children to adults and plays organ and piano for worship services and special events. His wife, Mary Patterson, owns and runs an independent bookstore, also in Midlothian. If you ever find yourself in Central Virginia, I highly recommend you visit her at The Little Bookshop. She has a unique talent for asking just a few questions and recommending the exact book each customer will love reading. In fact, I have friends who call visiting her for just the right book “cheaper than therapy”. But… I digress.

The Old Mark Patterson Music Website

When Dr. Patterson reached out, he already had a website. It did not, however, meet all his needs. For one thing, it had a dated style. He needed something that was more attractive and up to date. Next, he really wanted an organized way for users to be able to listen to his music. While the old site had a few pieces available for people to hear, he expressed a need for that to be the main feature of his new site.

Here’s what Dr. Patterson said when asked why he decided he needed a new website:

I wanted a visually more appealing look, wanted to be able to feature more audio and video content and needed a better process for updating content.

Time for Something New

When the new website for Mark Patterson Music launched, the listening gallery was front and center. Site visitors can find out about him and his conducting and clinician services, but they can also listen to some of his over 350 compositions. Each page includes a different voicing (Mixed Choir vs Soprano/Alto, etc.). Individual pieces are listed on the page, including pictures of the cover art, the catalog numbers, and a place to press Play and hear the music right there. Here’s an example:

Screen shot of listening gallery for Mark Patterson music website

When I asked Dr. Patterson his favorite feature in the new site, he responded that he loved the listening gallery, the video gallery where users could view performances of his music, and a generally better look throughout the site. He also indicated that he had heard lots of positive feedback about the site in general, but that people really enjoyed both the listening and video galleries.

Hopefully, the new Mark Patterson Music website will garner more interest in what he does and showcase Dr. Patterson’s amazing talents. Keep swimming along!

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