On Feb. 7, when Music Director Lisa Hunt announced to the Robson Ranch Singers she was stepping down, you could have heard a pin drop. We all love her talent and enthusiasm—singing under Lisa’s direction has been pure joy. We were in shock!
But in her defense, she assumed the role on a six-month trial basis—five years ago! During that time, she and husband, Ron, founded Friendship Center Church, and she joined some friends to form an all-girl band, the Girls Next Door.
Lisa added the fun of “theater” and special instrumentation to our performances, but is excited to let someone else realize their dream of leading an energetic chorus and providing fresh ideas. And in typical “Lisa” fashion, she didn’t just present the Robson Ranch Singers with the challenge of finding our next music director; she had already started researching some solutions.
And so … we welcome Laurie Laramie, music director, and Beth Forbes, associate music director. They proposed dividing the tasks of music director and offered their unique skills and experience to accomplish everything, while still enjoying their current lives!
Here’s some more about them.
Laurie Laramie: Laurie grew up playing piano and guitar and participating in choirs, small singing groups, and church groups. In college she majored in drama/communications and directed three full-scale productions, as well as two traveling drama and music groups.
After college, Laurie and her husband, Mike, went into full-time Christian ministry. She became a credentialed teacher with a master’s degree in education, and taught music and drama. In the church setting, she directed choirs, worship bands, and small vocal groups.
Laurie said her strengths will be in envisioning programs our audiences will love and helping our singers grow as individuals and as a group.
Laurie and Mike are full-time residents of Robson Ranch.
Beth Forbes: Beth said she can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t sing. Her first exposure to harmonizing occurred while singing “The Bear Went over the Mountain” on car trips with her family. Through high school, she was part of instrumental and vocal groups and received the All-School Musicianship Award her senior year.
At Seattle Pacific University she earned a minor in music, participating in acapella choir for three years, including a study-concert tour to Southeast Asia.
As an adult, Beth directed the music ministry for her church family camp and sang in her church choir. She also sang in two performance groups, singing in multiple concerts a year. Beth looks forward to helping the Robson Ranch Singers get “performance ready” for each concert!
Beth and husband, Skipper, share their time between Robson Ranch and Gold Bar, Wash.
We thank Lisa for all her work—and love—over these past five years and welcome Laurie and Beth as our new directors. Our holiday concerts will be Dec. 6 and 7. We hope you’ll attend! And if you’d like to join us on stage, please contact Laurie at [email protected] Rehearsals begin in September!