Brandon Straub, Associate Conductor

When I was young, my family didn’t have a piano, so I built one. I sat for hours on the living room floor with wooden toy blocks stacked skillfully across my legs, singing my favorite songs and pretending to play along. My parents got the hint. Music has always ignited my passion and stirred my imagination; I still recall early formative experiences of being swept up in a climactic symphonic moment or hearing the sound of choral music wafting through a cathedral. Throughout my multifaceted career as an educator, conductor, keyboardist, and singer, I continually summon the awe and curiosity with which I encountered each new sound world for the first time.

I am passionate about the deep work involved in preparing music and bringing it to life. The rehearsal process can be as thrilling as the performance itself. As a conductor and educator, I am dedicated to helping musicians of all ages and levels of experience find their voice and develop their musical agency. Inspired by this vision, I founded the Choral Arts Youth Choir to provide meaningful, high quality musical opportunities for the area’s most capable and engaged young musicians. 

From leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos at the harpsichord to singing the national anthem with Stephen Colbert, musical collaboration has afforded me a variety of incomparable opportunities for connection and understanding. This breadth of experience continues to influence how I approach my roles

preparing choruses for collaborations with a growing list of world-class ensembles, conductors, and soloists. 

In addition to my positions at Choral Arts, I have been fortunate to direct programs at several schools and churches, among them St. John’s Church Lafayette Square (the “Church of the Presidents”) and St. Alban’s and National Cathedral School, where I currently

serve as Director of Choral Music and Chair of Music for the coordinate music program.

Building on his own diverse background in music, Brandon Straub enjoys a multifaceted career as an educator, conductor, keyboardist, and singer. A passionate educator and visionary member of the DC music scene, Straub is dedicated to inspiring musicians to find their voice and develop their musical agency. He loves the process of preparing for performances as much as the performance itself and brings depth and authenticity to everything he does. 

Collaborating through music has provided Straub with some incredible opportunities and incomparable experiences. From performing a harpsichord concerto with the Air Force Strings to touring Europe as a violist in a youth orchestra to singing the national anthem with Stephen Colbert, music has always been one of the main avenues through which Straub has traveled, experienced, and connected to the world. 

In 2015, Straub founded the Choral Arts Youth Choir, inspired by his vision to provide meaningful, high quality musical opportunities for the area’s most capable and engaged young musicians. He strives to inspire his singers’ intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth as they develop the ability to analyze, explore, and grasp the power of music and art through firsthand experience with diverse styles and genres.

Straub has prepared choruses for a growing list of world-class ensembles that includes the National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and LA Philharmonic at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Tanglewood, and Kimmel Center. He has also prepared members of the Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir for the past eight broadcasts of “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS. Equally at home in concert halls, classrooms, and houses of worship, he serves as Chair of Music for the coordinate programs at St. Alban’s School and the National Cathedral Schoolhas and has served as Associate Director and Organist at St. John’s Church Lafayette Square, the “Church of the Presidents.”

Associate Conductor Brandon Straub became joined the Choral Arts Society of Washington in 2012 and founded the Youth Choir in 2015.