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New sound and a new face

Waldorf's new choir and Schola Cantorum director, Brett Robison, conducting during rehearsal.

Waldorf’s new choir and Schola Cantorum director, Brett Robison, conducting during rehearsal.

By Nathan Taylor

There have been many big changes in the Fine Arts department over the last six months. The newest of which is the addition of Mr. Brett Robison as the new Waldorf Choir and Schola Cantorum Director.

One of Robison’s expectations of the Choir is for more of the students to improve in their reading skills.  He expects improvement each and every semester, individually and as a whole.  He is really “excited to give the college and the community an opportunity to experience great music performed by a great choir.”  “I am excited to finally stand in front of this choir, fully robed, and ready to express these powerful pieces of music,” Robison said.

His personal goal as conductor is “to build upon the work of Dr. Luebke and Travis Beck by continuing to increase the number of students who take advantage of this opportunity on our campus.”  He believes there is strength in numbers in a choral department and plans to work diligently to recruit for the choirs and overall music department. “I want to make Waldorf Choir more known throughout the world, and give the world the amazing choral tradition that Waldorf has,” Robison said.

His biggest personal goal is getting his doctorate from the University of Arizona this semester.

The major reason Robison chose Waldorf was the students and their great attitudes and desire to learn.  He is really looking forward to that, specifically for the rest of the semester, and in the future.  So far, he feels very accepted here by students and staff.  He was pleasantly surprised during his visit, and first few weeks here. “This is a very fine collegiate choir that makes impressive sounds.  I think we can easily improve by continuing to work on being even more sensitive musicians,” Robison said.

When asked what his favorite part about choirs was he stated, “I love that Choir is a group of individuals that come together to create ‘time art’. This art form happens in a moment and it is never the same.  You cannot make these beautiful sounds by yourself.  It only happens by the hard work of the entire ensemble.  I personally love singing in choirs when you really lock into a beautiful sonority of sounds and they engulf you.  It still gives me goose bumps to this day.”

Robison heard about Waldorf from the former Waldorf Choir and Schola Cantorum director, Dr. Luebke.  He found the job on Dr. Luebke’s Facebook, and contacted him for details. He arrived from Arizona one week before classes started. He received his Bachelors degree from Luther College, so he is used to Iowa weather to an extent.  During his first week of class he talked about being excited to be back because the weather allowed him to wear his sweatshirts that had been stashed away in a box while he was in Arizona.  Like everyone, he also has a personal life, and wants everyone to know a little about it.  “I am also a golfer and I’m excited to play the golf course here in Forest City this spring/summer.  My wife Jennaya is also a choral musician and I have three children; Elise, 13, Grace, 10, and Benjamin, 8,” Robison said.