Director of Music Ministries
As Director of Music Ministries, Karl Robson is responsible for planning and executing all liturgical music here at St. John’s, as well as leading our choirs. Having discovered the organ at age eleven, he offers our parish a variety of experiences in 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. He completed undergraduate work magna cum laude with departmental distinction in Church Music and Organ Performance at St. Olaf College, where he was a student of Dr. Catherine Rodland. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts as well as the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Higgs.
As a graduate student in Rochester, New York, he served for four years as Assistant Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he was received into the denomination. The choirs from St. Paul’s embarked on an unforgettable two-week tour to St. Alban’s and Ely Cathedrals (England) in 2013. Prior to joining the staff at St. John’s, his most recent appointment was as Director of Music at Bethany Presbyterian Church, a suburban parish of Rochester.
Karl was a recipient of the Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship and the Peter B. Knock Award – scholarships awarded to promising young church musicians – as well as Eastman’s James B. Cochran Endowed Organ Prize and Gerald Barnes Award in Organ, 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, Karl enjoys distance running, raiding Washington, D.C’s record stores for classical recordings on vinyl, witnessing his partner Adam Detzner (also a church musician, serving as Minister of Music and Organist at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale, Virginia) make magic in the kitchen, and watching classic films.