On Sunday, June 3, we will welcome our new Director of Music Ministries, Karl Robson, and say farewell to John Hurd, our faithful Interim Director of Music Ministries. John and Karl have some special music prepared for us for that day at the 9 and 11:15 am services, and we’re in for a real treat!
Karl Robson is a doctoral student of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Having discovered the organ at age eleven, he comes to St. John’s with a variety of experiences in different sacred music traditions and an enthusiasm for music-making at all ages and levels.
Karl was raised in the Lutheran church, serving several congregations in Minnesota throughout high school and college. In 2012, he graduated magna cum laude with departmental distinction in Church Music and Organ Performance from St. Olaf College, where he was a student of Dr. Catherine Rodland.
After moving to Rochester, he served for four years as Assistant Director of Music at St. Paul’s, where he was received into the Episcopal church. The choirs from St. Paul’s embarked on an unforgettable two-week tour to St. Alban’s and Ely Cathedrals (England) in 2013. In 2014, Karl earned a Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature from Eastman. His most recent appointment was as Director of Music at Bethany Presbyterian Church, a suburban parish of Rochester.
Karl is a recipient of the 2016 Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship and the 2015 Peter B. Knock Award – scholarships awarded to promising young church musicians – as well as Eastman’s James B. Cochran Endowed Organ Prize (2016) and Gerald Barnes Award in Organ (2015), given for outstanding recital and jury performances within the school’s organ department. He was a semi-finalist in the 2015 St. Alban’s International Organ Competition.
When not on the bench or conducting, Karl enjoys distance running, golfing, exploring nature (and wine) in the Finger Lakes, and watching classic films. His partner, Adam, grew up in the DC area, so he’s had “sneak peaks” of the region over the years. He is looking forward to regular access to the Sligo Creek Trail and Silver Spring’s AFI, as well as DC’s warmer weather!