Robert Mix

2004 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
Robert Mix

Robert Mix, a native of Austin, Minnesota, demonstrated musical and performing gifts from a very early age. He knew he wanted to be a choir director when he was given several opportunities to direct his ninth grade choir, high school choir and church choir. These experiences motivated him to study music at Luther College earning a B.A. degree under the leadership of Weston Noble. He went on to earn an M. Mus. Ed. degree from the University of Montana, and to do further graduate study through seminars at the University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, Alverno College, St. Cloud State University and the University of Colorado.

Bob's teaching experience spans 34 years including three years at Lakefield, MN, three years at Glenwood, MN, and 28 years at Duluth East High School. He served 23 years as a church choir director, and has guest conducted several festival choirs. At First Lutheran Church in Duluth, Bob directed the high school and senior choir for 17 years. For the past 40 years he has also served as director and/or soloist of the cantata, The Seven Last Words of Christ by DuBois. He has always been a sought-after soloist and has performed in a number of Duluth Superior Symphony-produced operas including Tosca, La Boheme, and Madame Butterfly.

Upon arriving at Duluth East, Bob immediately built the choral music program up to four choirs as well as adding two chamber groups. He had over 250 students involved each year resulting in over 7000 students singing under his direction. Each of his choirs entered in state-regional contests received superior ratings.

Bob's Duluth East High School A Cappella Choir was chosen to perform at the Minnesota Music Educator's Association Mid-Winter Clinic in 1962, at the MENC North Central Conference in 1963, to tour Europe in 1971 through the Institute for European Studies, at the ACDA North Central Convention at Des Moines, Iowa in 1974, and at the Ellipse of the White House lawn in Washington, D.C. including other performances as part of the Bicentennial in 1976. His choirs made five concert tours of Europe and in 1986 the choir competed with adult choirs from nine countries at the Choral Bewerb in Spittal, Austria. His choirs have performed at choral festivals at Concordia College, Moorhead, Luther College, St. Cloud State, Augsburg College, St. Olaf College and Bemidji State University, and have made concert tours of Mexico City, Winnipeg and to the Chicago Heritage Music Festival.

Bob has been a member of MMEA, serving two terms on the board of directors, and a member of ACDA since 1960. Bob has also traveled the state extensively to conduct auditions for all-state choirs. He served eight years on the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Committee.