Dr. Rob Campbell hitches his remarkable wagon to the Masters of Harmony

Lou Tedesco, Apr 30, 2009

It is always a highlight to introduce new members to the Masters of Harmony. The event is even more pleasurable when the new member is a music educator with impressive credentials.

To say that Rob Campbell’s resume is extraordinary would be a literary “under shoot.” He joined SPEBSQSA in 1971 at the age of 16 and sang bass with the Illini Statesmen Chorus in Champaign, Illinois, and with the Four Speed Voice Band, his high school quartet. He continued to experience and then later to make barbershop music and its organization a lifelong pursuit.

Rob’s formative history began with his birth in 1954 in Princeton, New Jersey. Fast forward eventually, with wife Elizabeth, they raised two sons Jared and Nicholas, both now undergraduates at Cornell University. Along the way, Rob completed an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University followed by a Master of Music in 1979 at the University of Illinois and a Doctor of Musical Arts in 1985 at Stanford.

His most early scholastic positions included Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin and similar assignments at the University of San Diego, University of Phoenix and Western International University (current). In addition to his three degrees and academic work, Rob played guitar in rock bands and performed as a vocalist in musicals and other shows and ensembles.

As a music educator and member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, it was inevitable that Rob would take a leading role at individual chapters. Consequently, he became director of the Santa Monica Oceanaires from 1984 through 1985. Following assignments included International Champion West Towns Chorus from Lombard, Illinois (1988-1990). He was an associate director of the Sun Harbor Chorus from San Diego (1990-1993), earning an international chorus bronze medal. He functioned as the associate director of the New Tradition Chorus from Northbrook, Illinois (1994-1996). His most recent assignment was as director of the Bay Area Metro Chorus from 2003-2006 and steered the chorus to three NorCal West championships.

It is almost exhausting just to describe the huge efforts, assignments, and capacities attributed to this Society stalwart over the years. He is immediate past Music Category Specialist, which included three years on the Contest and Judging Committee. He serves on the Publications Subcommittee that chooses, edits and publishes Society arrangements. He has fourteen published arrangements to his credit, and many others unpublished.

Rob is current Chairman of the Lou Perry Scholarship Fund, a special project that funds two arranging scholarships each year to Harmony University.

Adding to this astounding array of activities, Rob coaches and judges for Harmony Incorporated and has made judging/coaching visits to affiliates SNOBS (Sweden), BinG! (Germany) and AAMBS (Australia). He has been the Society’s Music Category representative at the last two BABBS/LAABS judging recertification schools, and has served as Dean of their Director’s College.

Rob is on the panel and faculty for the upcoming AAMBS/NZABS combined affiliate Contests/Judges’ School/Harmony College slated for September 2009.

Could the Masters of Harmony be more graced by the skills and experience in our hobby reflected by this astounding individual? Perhaps we might just say –Welcome, Rob, as a brother of the Masters of Harmony and thank you for your expertise and dedication though the years.


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