ROBERT RUND - Biography
Robert Rund grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri, playing ragtime piano and singing in barbershop quartets since the age of seven. He began composing and arranging music in his teens, and also became assistant director of the Spirit of Saint Louis Chorus. Today, he has an eclectic taste of music and art that spans many styles and genres, but continues to be drawn to vocal and acapella music, particularly in the barbershop style.
Mr. Rund earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education (Magna Cum Laude) from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Goucher College. While at Westminster, Rund performed as a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, under conductors Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Zubin Mehta, and Riccardo Muti, in venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and many others.
In the barbershop world, Rund has written over 50 arrangements, many of which have been performed and recorded by international champion quartets and medalist choruses. Many of these arrangements were spawned by his own quartet singing in the early 1990s with Doubletake, who became Barbershop Harmony Society’s 1993 Mid-Atlantic District Champion in their first district competition and represented this district twice at the International Competition, and qualified for international three times including having qualified at their very first competition, 8 weeks after forming.
In 2011, Rund became a founding member, co-director and arranger for the Palmetto Vocal Project, a chorus based in Mount Pleasant, SC. The chapter formed in September, 2011, and in their first contest, singing two of Rund’s new charts (“Tomorrow Is Promised To No One,” and “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die”) won the 2012 Carolinas District Contest and qualified to represent NSC at the 2013 International Competition in Toronto. Palmetto Vocal Project again became the NSC International Representative at the 2013 District Contest and will represented the district at the 2014 International Competition in Las Vegas singing two new of Rund’s charts made famous by Patsy Cline (“Lovesick Blues“, and “So Wrong“.)
Through the years, many internationally recognized quartets and choruses have performed and recorded Rund’s arrangements. The list includes international champion quartets Keepsake (1992), Platinum (2002), Gotcha! (2004), Vocal Spectrum (2006) Storm Front (2010), Forefront (2017), and medalists Backbeat (1995), and Quorum (2017), finalists Jukebox, Bayside Edition and Wheelhouse; International Seniors Quartet Champion, Faces 4 Radio, (2014), and medalist choruses The Alliance (Greater Central OH), The Tidelanders (Houston, TX), Southern Gateway Chorus (Cincinnati, OH), Sound of the Rockies (Denver, CO) and West Towns Chorus (Lombard, IL) as well as Voices of Gotham (New York, NY). In the U.K., his charts have been sung by national champion British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS) quartets Evolution (2009) and Hooked on Harmony (1996).
Rund’s arrangements have also been sung and recorded by Sweet Adelines International champion quartets, Frenzy, (2017) and Moxie Ladies (2009),and Sweet Adelines International Chorus Champions, Rich-Tone Chorus, as well as 2013 Sweet Adelines International Medalist Chorus, Scioto Valley Chorus (2013), and the Sweet Adelines International silver medalist Skyline Chorus (Denver, CO) (2004).
In addition, Rund has composed vocal music outside the barbershop style including SATB choral works such as “Six Choral Settings to the Poems of Robert Frost,” and “Letter to My Principal,” (poem by Edwin Romond) written for and dedicated to the New Jersey Association of Independent School’s All-State Chorus and premiered at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).
“Song of the contest – again. For the record, we loved it in Nashville [2001 International Convention] and declared it the song of the contest last year [2002 Portland International Convention], but now everyone else seems to have fallen in love with “What More Can a Soldier Give?” by GOTCHA! Now the quartet’s most requested song, the piece looks to have a long working life ahead of it.”
– The Harmonizer Magazine, September/October 2003
Robert Rund currently serves as Director of Development of the Eastern Region, for Harmony Foundation International, the philanthropic arm of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Harmony Foundation connects people through charitable giving, funding programs that enhance lives through singing.
Robert Rund has also led an independent consulting firm, R2C2, for over twenty years, applying creative process and solid business acumen to serve individuals and organizations interested in identifying and meeting their strategic objectives. He draws on extensive experience across both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, having served performing artists, schools, arts institutions and corporations. He has consistently demonstrated that vision can be materialized through self-awareness, creative planning and tapping into new solutions in this dynamic environment.
Robert has served as the President and Head of School of the American Boychoir School in Princeton New Jersey. For over seventy-three years, The American Boychoir has been regarded as the United States’ premier concert boys’ choir and one of the finest boychoirs in the world. In addition to maintaining an active national and international touring schedule, the ensemble performs and records regularly with such world-class artists and ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, soprano Jessye Norman, pop diva Beyoncé, jazz vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin and Sir Paul McCartney.
Prior to the American Boychoir School, Rund served as the School Administrator at the Waldorf School of Princeton, Rund was the Arts Department Chair and Director of Cultural Events at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. While at Peddie, Rund founded and directed the highly successful non-profit, Community Arts Partnership at the Peddie School (CAPPS), which offered a variety of programs in the visual and performing arts to the surrounding community.
In addition to his work in independent schools, Mr. Rund has extensive experience in the international performing arts industry. As an artist and booking manager for the prestigious IMG Artists, Ltd. in New York his work primarily focused on guest orchestral appearances by soloists, conductors and ensembles on the impressive IMG roster. For many years Mr. Rund served as Associate Publisher of the venerable Musical America Publishing, which has been the leading source of information in the performing arts for over 100 years.
Rund has been a consultant to a host of internationally renowned artists, ensembles and institutions developing the careers of professional artists and ensembles. His prestigious client list has included vocalists Jubilant Sykes, Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, pianist/composer Fred Hersch, and saxophonist Paul Winter among many others.
Mr. Rund earned a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Goucher College. In 2004, Rund was one of 50 international arts leaders to be awarded a fellowship to participate in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts, a joint initiative by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and National Arts Strategies.