In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s current recommendations, Merit School of Music has closed the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center and suspended all in-person activities. Virtual options are now available for summer camps, private lessons, Early Childhood classes, and small group classes. We thank you for your understanding and continued support during this unprecedented situation.

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Faculty & Staff

Aaron Albin

Faculty: Voice



University of North Texas
D.M.A., Conducting

University of North Texas
M.M., Conducting

Simpson College
B.M.E., Music Education


Aaron Albin’s love for music is rooted in the classics—specifically Johann Sebastian Bach. The first cassette tape he owned (and listened to daily) was The Best of Bach, nurturing his passion for piano music and ultimately leading him to pursue music as a profession and to his current role as conductor for Merit’s Conservatory and Concert Choirs.

Dr. Albin began his musical training at Simpson College (Iowa), where he studied piano and voice. He continued his musical education at the University of North Texas, earning a Master of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in performance: orchestral conducting. He received the Priddy Fellowship and was selected to pursue a Certificate in Arts Leadership.

Another personal “first” led Dr. Albin to conducting. After experiencing his first musical stage performance (Phantom of the Opera), he says the combination of live theatre and the challenge of learning both the vocal and instrumental parts of a score sparked his interest in conducting. His musical interests are multi-disciplined, however, combing his interest in music with an interest in medicine to promote hearing health among musicians.

Prior to coming to Merit, Dr. Albin served as a choir, orchestra, and musical theatre conductor, vocal coach, and accompanist for numerous organizations, including the Ravinia Music Festival, the Ascolti Chamber Orchestra, the Lone Star Music Academy, and the Des Moines Symphony Academy.

Dr. Albin’s encourages his students to be independent musicians who can read, perform and evaluate music on their own. Outside of Merit, you may find Dr. Albin running marathons, cooking, eating his way through Chicago’s restaurants, or pursuing his admitted obsession with Italy and Italian opera.

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“My goal is to train every student to be an independent musician who can read, perform, and evaluate music on their own.”