Get to know Robby
What are you doing in school?
"I just graduated from Gettysburg College's Sunderman Conservatory studying Music Education, with a concentration in composition, but lucky for me, I'm still in school! This time, as a teacher working with the choirs at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, MD."
How long have you been singing in choirs?
"Well technically I guess I've been singing in choirs all my life. My parents were always in the folk group at my church, so I was too, but I never really got into reading music effectively and singing 'traditional choral rep', whatever that means, until high school."
What is your favorite musical memory?
“Probably my first time in the Maryland All-State Chorus my junior year of high school. Spending that much time consistently around really good musicians made me realize that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I made some of my best friends at the time in the two weekends I spent there in my junior and senior years."
Do you have any special talents or interests outside of music?
“I played a lot of baseball at DeMatha [Catholic High School] and with the Maryland Warriors [a local travel team], and that kind of consumed a lot of my life. I also played percussion at DeMatha, and a lot of drum set growing up. Past that I just spend too much time pretending I know what I'm talking about in pretty much every facet of life.”
Who is your favorite composer?
"Okay this is a really hard one for me because I have musical crushes on so many people, but I think I have to go with [Eric] Whitacre. I heard his Alleluia for the first time my sophomore year of high school and knew him as 'the Alleluia guy' for a long time, but that piece is what started my growing obsession with choral music. I also have to give a huge shout out to Paul Mealor, who I got to meet with some other Lux friends. That man is not only an amazing composer but such a fun person to talk to. As a young and impressionable choral geek at the time, I seriously appreciated his willingness to hang out with us for a while and pass funny stories around."
Who's your favorite non-classical musical artist?
"I've been bouncing around a lot lately, but I think I'm going to go with Billie Eilish. Personally I think her new album is really hit-or-miss, but when she's on, she's on. There's not a lot of pop artists that can give me the type of adrenaline rush she does in those really good songs."
What song have you not been able to stop listening to?
"I've been really into Gimme by Banks lately. It's got a really nice beat and an even better drop, and it's so good for blasting music with the windows down."
If all the appliances in your kitchen became sentient, which would they vote as their leader?
"I gotta say the fridge. It's huge, holds all the important stuff, and I think it has the most dirt on me since it sees me at my worst. It could definitely blackmail me into voting for it."
Dinosaurs or puppies?
“I'm gonna say dinosaurs, only because of that movie Meet the Robinsons or whatever it was where they had a pet T-Rex and it acted like a giant puppy. That's what I need in my life."
What's your favorite sports team?
“New York Yankees. My first-ever glove was a Derek Jeter model, and I've never really looked back from there. Although my second-favorite team is the Nationals, if that makes things any better for my fellow Marylanders."
Who’s cooler: John Lennon or Mick Jagger? Why?
“100% John Lennon. Dude was hilarious and he was in The Beatles, so like, what's to lose?"
What's your favorite thing about singing in Lux?
"Oh God, is everything an option? I don't know man. From a personal standpoint, everyone in the group is just awesome, both as a musician and as a human being. Like how many people under the age of 25 do you know that are constantly listening to choral music? I feel like at least half of that population is made up of Lux members. From a director's standpoint, we're just incredibly versatile. There are nine people I can think of just off the top of my head who have sung three or more parts, and have done it really well. That's invaluable in a chamber group like this. Everyone understands that we're here to make seriously good music, but also that we're just here to hang out and have fun as friends. The fact that we all understand both of those things allows for some really cool stuff to happen, especially for a bunch of college kids."
What's your favorite song you've sung with Lux?
“Definitely Sainte-Chapelle [by Eric Whitacre]. It was the piece that even made me or Tommy, or anyone else, want to do this project again, and as a mixed group. When I first heard it live, I went home that night and listened to it on a loop for literally three or four hours thinking about the story Whitacre was writing in the harmonies."
What's the most interesting fact about you?
"In high school, I won a national tournament with my Legion summer baseball team."
Robby Napoli has finished his ninth season with Lux. A recent graduate of the Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, he is currently the Choral Director at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, MD. Napoli is primarily a vocalist, although he has performed percussion for many years, as well.
At Sunderman, he performed with the Gettysburg College and Concert Choirs, as well as the smaller, more select Camerata. He also was deeply involved with Gettysburg College's all-male a cappella group, Drop the Octave, as a singer, arranger, and Music Director. Credits include Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Samuel (The Pirates of Penzance), and solos in Haydn's Missa in Augustiis, Handel’s Messiah, and Faure's Requiem. Napoli placed twice as a semi-finalist in his division of the NATS Allegheny Mountain Chapter (2015 & 2016), and as a winner in 2017.
Robby also studied composition with renowned composer Avner Dorman during his time at Sunderman. As a composer, he has been performed by the Gettysburg College Choir and the Gettysburg Children's Choir, among others; and has been commissioned for multiple pieces for choir and art song.
News & Updates
Forces of Nature
July 5, 2019 | 7PM
St. Jerome Catholic Church | Hyattsville, MD