Rob Gardner was born in 1978 and raised in Mesa, Arizona, in a Latter-day Saint family. Growing up there were nine children in his family – five boys and four girls. He is number six. His mother plays the piano and sings a little, and his father also sings, but Rob says that he would not consider his family to be a musical family.
In fact, he had almost no interest in music as a kid. It was his mother who required her children to take an instrument beginning in the fifth grade. They were expected to play their instrument until they got to high school. As his two older brothers had played the trumpet, he decided to follow suit. He played the trumpet from the fifth grade to the eighth grade. In the eighth grade, some of his friends convinced him to try out for the musical “The Wizard of Oz” at the junior high school he was attending. At the end of the show, the choir director recommended that he and a friend join the choir, and so they did and continued in choir through high school.
Rob’s musical career began in high school where he was a member of and the arranger for the acapella band Two Five Nine. The group recorded five albums together, and during their college days at Brigham Young University, before going on their missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they toured around the country. It was from that early start that Rob began composing original works for film, theater, and the concert stage.
As a composer, conductor, and producer, he primarily writes Oratorios. Perhaps one of his best-known works is The Lamb of God about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He wrote the original composition while serving his mission in the Bordeaux France mission at the request of his mission president. His composition was only able to spend 10-12 minutes on the Atonement and the end of the Savior’s life, but Rob was not satisfied with that as he knew that there was so much more to the story. It was not until 2009, four months into a yearlong graduate program in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television at the University of Southern California that he began to revisit the project that he had considered for over a decade. In a 25 March 2016 Deseret News interview, Rob recounts the experience:
I realized that I needed to kind of drop everything and write it because I kept telling myself, ‘I need to be a better composer because I want it to be amazing, and I want it to be worthy of the subject matter.’ I had lots of concepts for it, and finally I just said to myself, and this is kind of a good lesson for life, ‘I’m never going to be a good enough composer.’ … I’m always going to look at others and admire what they do, and if I wait to do something until I’m the best or until I’m actually good, it’s never going to happen. I’m just going to put it off until I die, having done nothing, so I just said, ‘OK, I’ll do it now.’
Among other Oratorios that he has composed are He is Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Saints and Pioneers. Both Joseph Smith the Prophet and The Lamb of God, have been recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and Spire Chorus. He composed, conducted, and produced the YouTube video “The Manger of Bethlehem.” He also wrote the musicals Blackbeard, The Price of Freedom, and 12 Princesses.
Rob is the co-founder and president of Spire Music, a nonprofit corporation founded under the belief that “music has an unparalleled ability to teach, uplift, edify and inspire.” Their mission is to “encourage the composition of new works by creating opportunities for their performance.” And their hope is to “discover gifted individuals: composers, vocalists, instrumentalists, arrangers, lyricists, etc., and to give them the opportunity to use their talents to write and give voice to new, superior music of a sacred or inspiring nature.”
Rob Gardner is an accomplished producer and conductor and appears regularly on the concert stage conducting his works. He helped found the group known as Cinematic Pop. The group recently appeared on America’s Got Talent and received a standing ovation. He currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona.
Rob Gardner’s Official Website
LDS composer Rob Gardner reflects on inspiration behind Easter oratorio ‘Lamb of God‘
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Spencer Jones’ Original Song “So Low” Is a Message of Hope
Captivated by his friend and bandmate, Spencer Jones, playing an original song on the guitar titled “So Low,” Rob Gardner, a prolific Latter-day Saint composer known for his sacred oratorios such as Lamb of God and Joseph Smith the Prophet began playing along on the...
Rob Gardner’s Group Cinematic Pop Receives Standing Ovation
Rob Gardner is a famous and fantastic composer who has worked his way up into a beautiful music career. Rob was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1978. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served his mission in Bordeaux, France. Among his many...