Robert F. Brunner: Mormon Composer
Robert Francis Brunner was a composer who worked as a Disney Studios staff composer from 1963 to 1980. He scored such films as Blackbeard’s Ghost, The Boatniks, The Barefoot Executive, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, That Darn Cat! and numerous other movies. Additionally, he also wrote music for dozens of episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color series.
Brunner was born on January 9, 1938, in Pasadena, California, and grew up in Brentwood. He was musical as a child and was leading his own 20-piece dance band at age 11. He studied music at UCLA. He was awarded a Young Musicians Foundation scholarship and a Bank of America Achievement Award, and he was twice awarded University of Redlands Symphony of America Composers honors.
Beginning in 1956 and for 15 years, he was the conductor and commanding officer of California’s 562nd Air National Guard Band.
The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge honored Brunner with the George Washington Honor Medal for his patriotic anthem, “So Many Voices Sing America’s Song.” He and his lyricist were recognized in the individual achievement category. The composition received nationwide acclaim and has been sung by many choirs, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Brunner died on January 5, 2009. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Diana Jenson, had two children.