John Alexander headshot

Robert Farrell

Robert Farrell came to sacred music early. His mother, who had been certified by Rev. Carlo Rossini in the 1930s, was organist at Saint Kieran Church in Pittsburgh. This is a position he would eventually take over, working first as director of the boys’ choir, then assistant organist, organist and choir director. He attended Carnegie Mellon University, studying composition with Nikolai Lopatnikoff. He graduated in 1968 with degrees in both Piano Performance and Music Education.

For 30 years he was employed by the East Allegheny School District, where he taught music to children from age 5 to 18. The majority of his time was spent as Choral Director for the Senior High School. 

Robert has served at the following churches: Saint Kieran Church in Pittsburgh (as Organist and Choir Director), Saint Robert Bellarmine Church in East McKeesport PA (as Organist and Choir Director), Saint Patrick Church in East Brady PA (as Organist), and at Saint John Lutheran Church in Kittanning PA (as Senior Choir Director and Composer-In-Residence). Currently he is serving as Composer-in-Residence at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh.

“This cathedral is special to me,” he writes. “While in college I had the honor to sing the Duruflé Requiem in the loft with Madame Duruflé performing at the Beckerath organ. It was her husband’s glorious style of mixing modern harmonies with Gregorian chant melodies that inspired my efforts over the years.”

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