Robert Page, one of the leading figures in choral music in the second half of the 20th century and one of Chorus America’s first board members, passed away on Sunday, August 7. Bob was 89.
Among his many contributions to the field, Page led the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh for 25 years, served as director of choruses and assistant conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra, and taught almost 40 years in Carnegie Mellon University’s school of music. He also served on the Chorus America board of directors for twenty years, including as its president from 1990–1993, and was named Pennsylvania’s Artist of the Year in 1998. His obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated that his advocacy for the professional singer was what he was most proud of in his career, and to that end founded the Robert Page Singers in 1982.
“At the very first official Chorus America board meeting in 1977, Bob Page was the very first person the founders nominated to join them on the board to begin creating the organization that has now been so important to the field over nearly 40 years,” said Chorus America president and CEO Catherine Dehoney. “He was a tireless champion for the professional chorus. It is no exaggeration to say that countless choral conductors and singers consider Bob the most influential teacher, mentor, or chorus director they’d ever had. We are so sad to lose yet another giant of our field.”