Adjunct Instructor of Music
Conductor and teacher Andrew Robinson is an Adjunct Instructor in Music at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN, where he conducts the Chorale; Music Director at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Chesterton; a long-term substitute general music teacher at MacArthur Elementary School in Cedar Lake; and teaches private voice lessons.
For the last decade, Mr. Robinson has instructed K-12 choral and general music at schools in Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio. While Choir Director at Munster High School in Munster, IN, the MHS Chorale was featured in performances in Carnegie Hall (The Music of Eric Whitacre, under the composer’s direction), Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Disneyland, and at Valparaiso University. The ensemble sang with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2019 and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in 2018. The Chorale was one of three high school choirs to perform at the 2020 Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) Professional Development Conference and was slated to sing – as one of three choirs nationally – at the 2020 Windy City Choral Festival, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. During his Munster tenure, he served as Host for Regional ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest, Host for the regional J/M/E Large Group Contest, directed All-State Choir preparation rehearsals, and was Co-Director of the Munster Treble Makers, a 4th-6th Grade honor choir. Beyond general music classes and choral ensembles, Mr. Robinson has taught group piano, music theory (including AP level), music appreciation, and drama since he started his professional teaching career.
A proponent of collaboration, Mr. Robinson was Chorus Master for the world premiere of Symphony No. 5: Return to Middle Earth by Dutch composer Johan de Meij. He prepared the 200-voice ensemble, comprised of singers from several area schools, for the symphony’s debut under the composer’s direction at Valparaiso University in 2018. The work, sung entirely in a Tolkein Elvish language, has now been professionally recorded and performed all over the world. He organized the inaugural Northwest Indiana High School Choral Festival. This non-competitive event featured nine high school choirs, the Valparaiso University Chorale, and a 400+ mass ensemble in the Chapel of the Resurrection.
While teaching in public schools, Mr. Robinson worked in several churches as Music Director, Youth Music Director, Choir Director, Handbell Choir Director, and Contemporary Worship Director. He performs professionally on occasion, most recently as the bass soloist for two performances of Handel’s Messiah, Part 1. In addition, Mr. Robinson has a strong theatre background. He acted and sang in nearly one dozen plays, musicals, and operas, garnering three opportunities to compete for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship. He assisted many high school productions as Music Director, Vocal Music Director, Technical Director, Director, Pit Orchestra Conductor, rehearsal accompanist, and pit orchestra pianist over the last ten years.
As a composer and arranger, Mr. Robinson received First Prize in the 2016 Suspicious Cheese Lords Composition Competition in Washington, DC. Three of his compositions and arrangements were featured at state music education conferences in Indiana and Ohio. He has been commissioned by schools, churches, and community groups throughout the Midwest.
Recognizing his dedication to music education, Mr. Robinson received the 2020 First Decade Alumni Achievement Award from the Valparaiso University Alumni Association. He was inducted as a Sigma Alpha Iota professional women’s music fraternity national Friend of the Arts in 2019. That same year, he was a finalist for the Secondary Music Educator of the Year Award presented by IMEA.
Since 2018, Mr. Robinson is Chair of the Indiana All-State Handbell Choir. This first-of-its-kind ensemble features talented high school ringers from across the state. Students meet and perform at the IMEA Professional Development Conference each January. During his time as Chair, the Handbell Choir has nearly doubled in size. In the summer of 2009, he was the Handbell Choir Intern at Lutheran Summer Music, a summer academy for 8th-12th Grade students from all over the world.
Mr. Robinson received his Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in Vocal Performance from Valparaiso University, where he was a Founders Scholar and Christ College (Honors College) Scholar, and his Master of Music Teaching in Choral/Vocal Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, as the recipient of both the Herbert Henke Music Education Scholarship and Conservatory Dean’s Scholarship. He studied conducting with Christopher Cock, Jeffrey Doebler, Dennis Friesen-Carper, and Jody Kerchner, and voice with Ralph Klapis, Catherine McCord Larsen, and David Price. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Indiana Choral Directors Association, NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Education Association, Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.