Visionary musician and dynamic educator Brandon Straub will lead Saint Paul’s Parish and Choir School as new Director of Music

Brandon Straub, an experienced educator and esteemed choral musician, will begin his appointment as the Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Parish and Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) on July 1, 2024

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Saint Paul’s Parish and Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) in Harvard Square, Cambridge is pleased to announce Mr. Brandon Straub as the new Director of Music. With a distinguished career as an educator, keyboardist, conductor, and singer, Mr. Straub, who currently serves as Associate Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Parish and SPCS, will assume his new role on July 1, 2024. 

Straub was selected from a competitive pool of candidates following an international search that attracted highly-qualified applicants from the U.S. Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“Mr. Straub’s experience as an educator, organist and choral director combined to make him the perfect fit for Saint Paul’s,” says Paul Haley, the SPCS Advisory Board Chair and member of the search committee. “In the short time Brandon has worked at Saint Paul’s, he has forged a wonderful rapport with the leadership, faculty and parents.”

Straub brings over 20 years of experience in music education to his new role; he previously held the position of Director of Choral Music, Chair of Music, and School Organist for the shared music program at St. Alban’s School and National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. He also has extensive experience preparing adult and youth choruses for high-profile collaborations with major symphony orchestras, including National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the LA Philharmonic. He will continue this work this fall as he prepares the St. Paul’s Boys Choir for a performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony conducted by Andris Nelsons with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

“Growth and forward motion at Saint Paul’s involves more than incredible singing, it requires collective success in everything from curriculum development to community partnerships,” says Straub. 

After moving to Cambridge in 2023, Straub quickly established himself in the Boston music scene, both in his duties at Saint Paul’s Choir School and beyond. He currently serves as a pianist for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum. Straub sees this connection with community as crucial in expanding the role Saint Paul’s Choir School plays in Cambridge and beyond. 

Fr. William Kelly, Pastor of Saint Paul’s Parish and Saint Paul’s Choir School, says of Straub’s appointment, “I am grateful to Mr. Straub for accepting this invitation. We have come to know him as an extremely gifted teacher and musician, a fantastic colleague, and a very good man whose faith undergirds his great commitment to worship in the praise of Almighty God. He has shown himself to be organized and reliable in complex roles and to be a creative leader who can translate vision into action with great success.”

Straub will assume the role of Director of Music, succeeding Richard Webster, who served as Interim Director of Music for the 2023-2024 school year while the international music director search took place. 

“It has been my daily joy and privilege to work alongside Brandon Straub this past year,” says Richard Webster, Interim Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Choir School. “He is a consummate, creative, kind and patient teacher who is devoted to his calling, both as a church musician and educator. Under his musical leadership, St. Paul’s is poised for a glorious new chapter in its unique mission to glorify God through music, and to raise up men of character, kindness and keen musicianship.”

As Associate Music Director, Straub leads the Saint Paul’s Parish Choir, a fixture at the 9:30 AM Sunday masses. This April, the Parish Choir offered a highly acclaimed spring concert, their first since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Straub also serves as Saint Paul’s chief organist, playing services and accompanying the Boys & Schola of Saint Paul’s Choir. He also trains the Pre-Choristers, the youngest pupils of Saint Paul’s Choir School preparing to enter the Saint Paul’s Boys Choir, and the Music Scholars, the older singers whose voices have begun to change.

“Over the past year as Associate Music Director at Saint Paul’s, I’ve quickly developed a growing bond with the faculty, staff, and students, and I can’t wait to witness the growth and joy that lies ahead for the boys and this program,” says Straub. 

Saint Paul’s Choir School was established in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier, and is the only all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States. Educating boys in grades 3 through 8 in the great cathedral school tradition, it unites a rigorous musical and academic curriculum with Catholic faith. 

Straub joins the storied music institution having already experienced a unique view towards the emerging future of Saint Paul’s, saying, “Having engaged this year with every aspect of the music program at Saint Paul’s Choir School and Parish– from the Pre-Choristers, Choristers, and Music Scholars, to the Schola and Parish Choir–  I’m incredibly excited to shepherd this distinctive and remarkable program through its next chapter, and to uphold Saint Paul’s legacy as a world-renowned destination for music and worship. 

At this point in my career, I’m especially enthusiastic about the opportunity to unite my love of teaching and sacred music on a daily basis, both within Saint Paul’s and as part of Boston’s vibrant music scene.” 

About St. Paul’s Choir School

Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) is a private Catholic school for boys in the 3rd through 8th grades located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.  The school was founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier and is part of Saint Paul’s Parish which is led by Father William Kelly, Pastor, who is an alumnus of SPCS.  It is the only all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States. Dedicated to providing rigorous academic training and an extensive and unique education in music and liturgy, Saint Paul’s Choir School accepts musically talented and academically qualified boys ages nine through fourteen for full-time study in grades three through eight. The choir has long-time collaborations with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. The choir has made appearances at Fenway Park, Good Morning America, PBS, and most recently, sang for Pope Francis in Italy. 

About Brandon Straub

Brandon Straub is equally at home with musicians of all ages and degrees of experience. Prior to arriving at St. Paul’s, Mr. Straub served as Director of Choral Music, Chair of Music, and School Organist for the shared music program at St. Albans School and National Cathedral School in Washington, DC. He has also led music programs at The Hill School and Episcopal High School, where he has founded community choruses comprising faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and children of faculty. 

Mr. Straub has prepared choruses for a growing list of world-class ensembles, conductors, and artists, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and LA Philharmonic at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, and the Kimmel Center. During his 11 seasons as Associate Conductor & Pianist for the Choral Arts Society of Washington, Mr. Straub founded the Choral Arts Youth Choir, inspired by a vision to provide meaningful, high-quality musical opportunities for the Washington, DC area’s most capable and engaged young musicians, and he has prepared members of the Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir for the past ten broadcasts of “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS. 

A lifelong church musician, Mr. Straub has led singing from the keyboard since age ten. He has served as a conductor, organist, and professional singer at churches throughout DC, including Washington National Cathedral and St. John’s Church Lafayette Square (the “Church of the Presidents”).

A native of Michigan, Mr. Straub holds degrees in Music Education and Voice from Michigan State University and Conducting and Harpsichord Performance from the University of Michigan. He currently serves as a pianist for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and he will assume the role of Director of Music at Saint Paul’s Choir School and Parish beginning in July 2024.


Alexis Rodda
Saint Paul’s Choir School
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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