Robert C. Oster
Robert C. Oster, founder of the 100-voice Lakewood (MI) Area Choral Society, is in his 32nd year as artistic director and conductor. Bob began his teaching and conducting career in 1974 with Lakewood Public Schools in Lake Odessa, MI. He founded the Choral Society in January of 1986. Bob retired from public school teaching in 2009 after completing his 35th year of teaching choral music in the public schools – 26 years at Lakewood and 9 years at Jenison Junior and Senior High Schools in Jenison, MI.
In January 2015, Bob authored and published his first book, Singers, Zingers, and Humdingers. Choral Conductor Do’s and Don’t’s.
From 1999-2007, Bob served the Michigan School Vocal Music Association on the executive board of directors in charge of state events. He is currently active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician throughout Michigan and was invited as an adjudicator for the Canadian UNIFEST in 2000 and 2005. He was elected to conduct state honors choirs in 1987 (high school SATB), 1996 (junior high/middle school SATB), 2014 (high school TTBB), and was the recipient of MSVMA’s Carolyn Leep Scholarship in 1992. Bob was a finalist for Michigan Teacher of the Year in 1998, and the Michigan School Vocal Music Association honored him as their Teacher of the Year in 2004. In January 2010 the same statewide organization awarded him lifetime emeritus status. Besides conducting the choral society, he also maintains a small music studio, teaching voice, piano, and theory. In January 2015, Bob authored and published his first book, Singers, Zingers, and Humdingers: Choral Conductor Do’s and Don’t’s, available at our concerts and through Schloss Publishing: schloss102publishing.com.
Bob graduated from Greece Arcadia High School in Rochester, New York, where he studied French horn and piano at the Eastman School of Music. His collegiate training includes a Bachelor of Music Education degree in instrumental and vocal music from Wittenberg University, a Master’s degree in Music (choral emphasis) from Western Michigan University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from Michigan State University. He resides in Hastings, MI, with his wonderful wife, Joanie