Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg’s many years at the helm of Roanoke College’s choral program have commanded an audience and won many fans.
Earlier this year, the music professor and director of the Roanoke College Choir and Oriana Singers received the Naomi Brandon and George Emery Wade Professorship in Music. A professorship creates an endowed position for a college professor, allowing the college to recruit and retain in-demand faculty.
Wade, a 1936 graduate of Roanoke, and his wife, Naomi Brandon, bequeathed money to create this award. The late Wade was a scholar of music, literature, math, and history, as well as an amateur pianist and composer. His passion for music and strong belief in liberal arts education led him to give back to Roanoke.
Sandborg was chosen for the professorship because of his contributions to Roanoke’s music program, especially choral music. He has directed the Roanoke College Choir since 1985. He also was director of the Roanoke Valley Choral Society for 14 years, and he founded the Canticum Novum Chamber Singers. For 24 years, he has been choir director at Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke.
Sandborg received a bachelor’s degree from Knox College, and he holds a master’s degree in music and a doctorate in choral conducting and literature from the University of Illinois. He has written the book “English Ways: Conversations with English Choral Conductors” and has produced a widely used instructional video on the fundamentals for singing, “Make a Joyful and Beautiful Noise!”