David P. Robbins

Professor Emeritus

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Term of Service: 1969-2019


  • M.M., Composition, University of Michigan, 1969
  • B.M., Composition, University of Michigan, 1968

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Music Administration
  • Percussion


David P. Robbins was a Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University from 1969 until his retirement in 2019. Born in suburban Washington, D.C., he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in composition from the University of Michigan. As a composer, Mr. Robbins has created works in a wide range of genre and style, including orchestral works, chamber music, film scores, and music theater. Specializing as a conductor of 20th century chamber ensembles, he produced a nationally-recognized series of programs at PLU featuring recent and classic 20th century music. As a performer and clinician, he remains active as a percussionist in the Northwest.  As former Chair of the Department of Music, Professor Robbins has increased the study of 20th century music, including jazz, in the core studies of all music students, guided revisions of the department’s various curricula, renewed the department’s national accreditation several times, increased recruitment efforts and scholarship resources, and directed planning and construction of a new music building. He served on the university taskforce which revised the general education program, co-chaired the university’s recent decennial accreditation review, and has served as chair of the university faculty.