Robert H. Young was born in Santa Cruz, California, on April 20, 1923. After serving in the U. S. Marine Corps from 1941 to 1945 (including Pearl Harbor, shortly after the attack), he earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Otterbein College, Master of Music from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California.
His dissertation at USC was entitled “The History of Baptist Hymnody in England from 1612 to 1800.” In 1997, he was named Distinguished Music Alumnus at Otterbein College. He served as minister of music at churches in Huntington Park, Oakland, and Los Angeles, California, and was on the faculties of San Francisco Baptist College and the Worship and Arts Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin.
Dr. Young joined the faculty of Baylor University in 1962 where he remained until retirement in 1993. Through his thirty-year tenure, he was Chairman of Church Music, Chairman of Vocal Studies, Chairman of Graduate Studies, and director of the Baylor Chamber Singers, a 16-voice ensemble he founded in 1962 and that attained a national reputation for excellence under his guidance. The Baylor Chamber Singers have been heard in churches and schools throughout the United States. It was his work with the Baylor Chamber Singers and the beautiful performance venue of the Armstrong Browning Library that provided much of the inspiration for his numerous choral compositions.
Dr. Young retired after twenty-seven years as Choirmaster at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waco. He was Conductor Emeritus of the Baylor Chamber Singers. Active in TMEA, ACDA, and TCDA, he held the office of Vice President of the Church/Community Division of TCDA from 1994-1996. As an award-winning member of ASCAP, Dr. Young had more than 100 choral compositions published by some of the most prestigious publishing companies in the United States, including Gentry Publications, Alliance Music Publications, Carl Fischer, Colla Voce Publications, and National Music Publishers.
Dr. Robert H. Young passed away on July 29, 2011, at the age of 88. His ashes are interred in a garden of honor at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas.