Our Town: Bob Grant’s passion for theater, music never wanes
Performing, directing, music and teaching are in Bob Grant’s blood. They are his occupation, his avocation and his greatest joy.
Grant started performing at age 7 as a member of the Lake Tahoe Children’s Theater and has been sharing his talent with youths and adults ever since. He has directed more than 100 plays and musicals and performed in about 70. In 1986, he received a proclamation from Nevada Gov. Bob Miller for his work in the arts.
Grant, 48, was born in Los Angeles County and has lived in South Lake Tahoe for 42 years. He attended Tahoe Valley Elementary School and South Tahoe Intermediate School, and graduated from South Tahoe High School in 1977.
Grant received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a minor in music from California State University, Sacramento. He went on to earn teaching credentials in theater, music and performing arts occupations as well as an elementary teaching credential at Sierra Nevada College.
He has been employed for 18 years by the Lake Tahoe Unified School District and is department chair of visual and performing arts and director of activities at South Tahoe High School.
Grant has been choir director at Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church for more than 30 years. He also has performed in and directed musicals and light opera at Lake Tahoe Community College and the Sierra Tahoe Theater Company. He also was the theater instructor and director at Western Nevada College for 15 years.
At age 18, Grant became involved in the productions of “Ebenezer Scrooge” at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. He conducted the Brian Farnon Orchestra and directed the popular show that featured local people for 22 years.
He was a founding member and artistic director of the South Lake Tahoe Theater Company and helped start the Sierra Theater Company.
Grant has been married for 30 years to Pam Grant, who has been a local piano teacher for 40 years, and they have three children – Felicia Santos, 37; Becky Baker, 35; and Nicole Grant, 26.
Here is how Grant answered the Tribune’s questions:
“I’d like to be remembered as someone who brought enjoyment to audiences through my storytelling as a musician and a director.”
“I think it is attracting people to the community to live and stay. This includes having good schools and opportunities for children and adults to do enjoyable things like putting on plays. My life is very focused in this direction.”
“I like the one we have! I think that even if mistakes have been made, they were not for personal gain but to protect the country and protect our freedom. You can’t legislate war.”
“Musical comedy. Pam and I love going to New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles to see plays and musicals, both for enjoyment and to get ideas for shows.”
“I’m a person who doesn’t have regrets. I can’t think of anything I would do over. I think for 48 years old, I’ve been a very busy person and don’t need to do anything over again.”
“I most admire Teri Allmeroth and Scott Hudson. Both are excellent teachers – Teri at South Tahoe High School and Scott at South Tahoe Middle School – and both are fighting cancer.”
“The historical figure I would most like to meet is Leonardo da Vinci. He was a diverse thinker, painter, sculptor, architect and inventor. I admire his creative thinking ability and how he used his vast knowledge to create beauty and meaning.”
“That would be George Lucas. I admire his sense of organization in being able to keep his creative concepts at the forefront. He keeps coming back to the main concept for a film and doesn’t let it go. I aspire to always keep coming back – it gives the best artistic presentation of a film or play.”
“I would choose the Pulitzer Prize. Writing is something I would aspire to, especially writing a play. Writing lasts and leaves a historical legacy.”
“I think the most embarrassing episode for the United States was the situation surrounding the presidential election of 2000. It took so long to sort out the controversy that I think it compromised our security and standing in the world. Political ambition got in the way. The only saving grace was a remark from Queen Elizabeth about ‘taking back the Colonies’ if we couldn’t sort it out.”