Music Prep

You’ve seen the credit roll across the screen after a movie, but what exactly is music preparation?  If there is music to be played, there is someone who prepared the printed music.  This is the role of a copyist.  There is much more to this process than just putting notes on a page.  The copyist must meet high-pressured deadlines, be 100% accurate and use supplies that make the music sturdy and easy to read.  A true copyist understands page turns as well as instrument ranges, and can meet a deadline within a budget.  The copyists included in this site have amazing reputations for meeting all of the above criteria, and will help ensure a successful recording for your artist or project.


Mike Casteel, a native of Nashville, TN has been a freelance music copyist since 1992. Working closely with composers, arrangers and orchestrators, he has copied and prepared numerous works for live performances, recording sessions and publications in the US and abroad. Some of his most recent projects and clients include: We Are One, The Obama Inaugural Celebration, Warner Brothers Film: THE ASTRONAUT FARMER, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE (Broadway debut), “The National Anthem” for The National Symphony, Washington, D.C., Kennedy Center Honors, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Hall & Oates, Peter Cincotti, Renée Fleming, Linda Ronstadt, Kathy Mattea, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lucianno Pavoratti, Vanessa Williams, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Nashville Ballet, The Nashville Symphony, City of Prague Philharmonic, Rob Mathes, Michael Rose, Bruce Saylor, Conni Ellisor, Lari Goss, Ronn Huff, Carl Marsh and Chris McDonald. He also works with many music publishers including Hal Leonard Publishing, Word Music, McGraw-Hill Publishing, Willow Blossom Publishing, Silver Burdett Ginn Publishing and Music Theater International. Reaching beyond music preparation, Mike has served as librarian for several recording artists such as Wynonna, Suzy Bogguss and Patti Austin. Mike also served as orchestrator for the children’s animated feature film: THE PIRATES WHO DON’T DO ANYTHING, A VEGGIETALES MOVIE in the summer of 2007. Mike is also a freelance trumpeter playing with artists such as, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole and Wayne Newton. For more information check out casteelmusicservice.com