Robert Istad (DMA ’06), an alumnus of the USC Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program, has received the 2016 Outstanding Professor Award for his work at the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). In addition to his teaching responsibilities in the School of Music, Istad oversees several ensembles, including the CSUF University Singers, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus and Jazz Singers, and is widely credited with invigorating the university’s choral programs.
William Dehning (MA ’67, DMA ’71, choral music), chair emeritus of the Thornton Choral & Sacred Music program and a former professor of Istad’s, was quoted in an article on the CSUF website, noting that “Dr. Istad has exhibited the ability to produce some of the finest choruses in California.”
Actively engaged in the larger choral community, Istad serves as president elect of the California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is the artistic director of both the Long Beach Camerata Singers and the Long Beach Bach Festival. He is also slated to become artistic director of the Pacific Chorale in 2017.