Robert Charles Howard Biography

I try to keep the rust away by being an active composer and have been the conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra in Belleville IL since 1995 and of the Belleville Philharmonic Chorale since 2001.

I have recently published a book of poems called Unity Tree which is available from I am a member of the League of American Orchestras and the Colorado Poetry Center.

I was recently commissioned to compose a cantata called Wilderness Reflections for the centennial of Rocky Mountain National Park by the Oratorio Society of Estes Park that was premiered in June 2015.

My compositions have been been performed by many professional, community, college and high school ensembles in Missouri, Illinois and other parts of the country. Six of the vocal texts are poems by Wendell berry and I wrote three of the vocal texts.

I composed a Christmas cantata entitled, Radiance of the Light that was premiered by the Belleville Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra in December,2007 and my Piano Sonata was premiered by Michael McElvain in April,2008. A video of my piano sonata can be viewed at YouTube:

First movement

http: // v=G_eYeqZyny4

Second movement

http: // v=4vA-LN9nw9g

Third movement

http: // v=N6OYnYCF-mk&feature=related

Here is a link to a Belleville Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra performance of a new choral work by Charles DuMontier called Into this World:

http: // v=Tq92sHhGb-A

Meditation for oboe d'amore, harp and strings was premiered in Loja, Ecuador by John Walker, soloist with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Loja on Friday, June 20th,2008 with Winfried Mitterer, conducting.

Poetry and story writing are a relatively new activities for me. Many of the poems posted relate directly to musical compositions. Two of the poems posted on this site, Eagles on the Mississippi and Ice Storm 2006 have been published by Straight Up Magazine. Five poems are included in the Oh What a Tangled Web edited by Elysabeth Falsund and Richard Brotbeck.

For a general listing of my activities, please visit my web site at:

I reside in Belleville IL with my wife Robin and our Golden Retriever and Shelty mix, Hannah.