The Voice, the Ear, the Looks
By Gary Powell
How does one know when meeting a person for the first time that they will become a career-long musical colleague and life-long friend? Freshman Robin Huston showed up for an audition at the University of Texas for Ensemble 109 the very first semester I started directing the vocal group in January, 1985.
Robin was eighteen years old, bright, a bit sassy, mostly naive and sang with a huge belting voice. In fact, the belt was so loud that I had to avert my ears in order to avoid my own inevitable hearing damage! Robin was the only singer who won this audition as a freshman. She soon became the most effective solo voice to belt out “Together We Are Texas”, a raucous theme song I had written for the group’s mostly Texas-born audiences. She flourished in the following four years of solid ear training, vocal experimentation, learning group skills all the while performing and improving beyond measure. The end product; a sweetness of vocal tone with a rock solid ear for hearing parts and a best friend for me.
I always hold Robin up as my example in countering the argument of choir directors or vocal producers who think all singers must be able to read music. If you dictate a difficult inside vocal line to Robin one time, she’ll hold on to it forever no matter what happens in the adjacent vocal parts. Here’s the cool thing: Change one note of her part in that same passage and now she’ll remember that until the same time next year. Change it again? She says, “Okay, I got it.” This is why Robin has worked with me across all vocal genres in recording sessions since 1985.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in advertising at U.T., Robin soon became the darling of the Austin musical theatre scene performing in many shows at Zachary Scott Theatre Center and many other Austin theatres.
Robin now lives in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband Tom Orr and two children Henry and Harper. Upon moving to Oklahoma and before the birth of her daughter Harper, Robin served as Vice-President of Programs at the Oklahoma Arts Institute. Husband Tom Orr, who holds the James Garner Chair as the Director of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Drama also has performance credits in my studio on Walt Disney Records’ hip-hop record “Party Beats” on the Gary Powell song “Genetic Experiment”.
These Robin Huston performances below can be found on various Walt Disney Records recordings and other recordings listed below. Please note that I do not sell these recordings. For more information please go directly to Walt Disney Records or follow the links below for specific titles for Shadow Play Records and other record companies.
Various Solo Performances for Walt Disney Records
The Right Move for Me, A Gift for You, Dear Santa, Hey Santa, Minnie Had a Little Lamb, God Help the Outcasts, Candle on the Water, I Just Wanna Fly, Santa Please Take Me Flying, Bare Necessities, I Want to Be Like You (Mowgli), Up On the Housetop, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Hide and Seek
Solo Performances from Various “Winnie the Pooh” Products (Walt Disney Records)
The Alphabet Day, Pooh’s Colorful Present, Number Hunt
Solo Performances from Various “Little Mermaid” Products (Walt Disney Records)
Part of Your World, Poor Unfortunate Souls
Choral Performances for Various “Lion King” Products (Walt Disney Records)
Various Choral or Group Work for (Walt Disney Records)
Baby Mine, I Hear Thunder, The Claw (Toy Story Sing Along), Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?, Mickey Mouse Club March, Battle Hymn of the Republic (Bluegrass Version), Wanna Grow Up, Morning’s Here, Humpty Dumpty, Genetic Experiment, And I Eat Pigs for Breakfast, The Parade, Pat-a-Cake, Twistin’ the Night Away, Let’s All Roar Tonight
Joe Scruggs from “Not Afraid of the Dark”
Joe Scruggs from “Bahamas Pajamas”
Joe Scruggs from “Ants”
Joe Scruggs from “Merry Christmas – Joe Scruggs”
Imaginaria (Miramar Productions)
Various Performance for Gary Powell
Gary Powell Presents… (“In the Studio” Video performance of “I Just Wanna Fly”), Battle Hymn of the Republic (Choral Version), Psalm 42 (Phillip Sandifer), The Good News Is (Hall Chiropractic Jingle), Hark the Herald Angels Sing (University of Texas, Ensemble 109)
The Great 9-1-1 Adventure (9-1-1 for Kids)
It’s Time to Go Play