When did you start working at SAU? In 1999, I became a professor of music at St. Ambrose.
When did you start working with the Theatre Department? In 2004, I music-directed my first show at SAU, HMS Pinafore. Since then I have directed nine more shows and am currently working on number 10, Chicago.
What was your favorite show as Music Director? Drowsy Chaperone! We had an unusually good pit with really strong players. Our location within the set allowed the players to play out without worrying about balance, which made for a stronger sound.
You're an actor yourself. Have you done any shows at SAU? Yes; I played Old Man Strong in Urinetown, as well as Granny in Pippin. The students were great to work with. You're always concerned with what the attitude of the students will be to have a faculty member in the cast, but the students never gave me reason to worry.
What has been your favorite thing about working at SAU? The students. We just have some pretty great people to work with here! It's been a really positive experience—the faculty also has always been very supportive.
What's in store for you in retirement? Well, I don't know. I'd like to do some traveling. I may be heading to the Boston/Philadelphia area in August. I've also started researching the Haan family tree, but many of the sites I've found are in German. So, I'm also interested in brushing up on my German to continue my research.
Any words of advice for your students as you leave for your next adventure? When you leave SAU, you will have had so many experiences and hopefully have experienced a diversity of involvement with performing, friendships and more. You've got a lot of tools you can use the rest of your life. Learn to rely on yourself and those tools.
Thanks for everything you've done for the Theatre Department and all of SAU, Keith! We will miss you dearly, but wish you the greatest of luck and happiness in retirement!