Robert A. Hobby is Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his responsibilities include playing for many of the worship services, overseeing ten choral and instrumental ensembles, and managing concerts that the church offers. Among the numerous activities during his tenure, Trinity English has established a choral series with eighteen composers commissioned to date, hosted two regional conventions of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, produced four recordings, and expanded the opportunities for music ministry.
Mr. Hobby received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music (Church Music) from Wittenberg University in 1985 and a Master’s Degree in Music (Organ Performance) from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. His organ teachers have included Darwin Leitz, Kirby and Kristi Koriath, Donald Busarow, Trudy Faber, and Craig Cramer. He has studied composition with Donald Busarow, Richard Hillert, and English composer, Andrew Carter; he has also had private coaching in improvisation with Paul Manz.
To date, most of Mr. Hobby’s composition time has been spent writing commissions for churches and organizations throughout the country. Over two hundred and fifty of his compositions are in print with Augsburg Fortress, Choristers Guild, Concordia, G. I. A., MorningStar Music, Northwestern, Pavane, and Warner Brothers Publishers. A representation of his writing for organ, choral, and instrumental forces can be found on “Thine Is the Glory,” a recording produced by MorningStar Publishers. In 2006, he premiered a major work of his entitled The Good Shepherd , scored for tenor solo, adult and children’s choirs, and orchestra; his thirteen movement choral/instrumental Christmas work entitled Holy Light (2010) is performed throughout the country during the holiday season; both are published with MorningStar Music.
“Hobby” compositions have been appeared nationally on TV (CBS) and syndicated radio programs such as “The Lutheran Hour:, “Sing for Joy” and “Pipe Dreams”; in concert settings at national venues including the National Cathedral (Washington D.C.) and the Meyerson Symphony Hall (Dallas); in festive worship services including that of the national convention of American Guild of Organists in Los Angeles, the installation services of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and the Archbishop of Philadelphia, and the anniversary mass of Sacred Heart Basilica at the University of Notre Dame. Most recently, he was invited to write two compositions for papal services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Madison Square Gardens during the recent visit of Pope Francis to New York. His music is also include on recordings, including performances by the National Lutheran Choir (Minneapolis), by organ duo artists Raymond and Beth Chenault (Spivey Hall, Atlanta), and by concert organist, James Welch (St. Nikolai Church Berlin-Sandau. Germany.) Hobby’s music appears in hymnals of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church of America, and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
As a performer and clinician Mr. Hobby keeps an active schedule throughout the United States. He has played for the national conventions of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, Organ Historical Society, and National Pastoral Musicians; and he has played for both national and regional conventions of the Association of the Lutheran Church Musicians and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has been a featured artist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, performing Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Haydn’s Organ Concerto #2 in C, and in 2005 he conducted the premiere performance of Andrew Carter’s Concerto in C for organ and orchestra, with David Higgs at the organ. In addition, his workshops for both regional conventions and individual chapter meetings of the American Guild of Organists and other similar organizations have gathered wide acclaim.
Mr. Hobby is a member of a number of professional music organizations and has held a variety of leadership positions. For several years he chaired “Young Lutherans Sing,” a national summer choral program for children, sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. In 1996, he designed and coordinated a hymn festival that was performed simultaneously at one hundred sites around the United States and Canada to commemorate the tenth anniversary of ALCM. He has also served as Dean of the Fort Wayne American Guild of Organists and as a member of the Program Committee for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 2014, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Wittenberg University for his professional contributions to church music.
Robert and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of three daughters: Hannah, Lydia, and Elizabeth.