Success Stories

Alumnus entertains thousands

Dan Redner

Grand Valley alumnus Dan Redner is in the business of entertaining. His audiences include thousands of tourists aboard some of the world’s best cruise lines.


A Grand Rapids native, Redner received his bachelor’s degree in 2007 in music performance, with a jazz studies emphasis. Since 2005 he has been working with Royal Caribbean as a pianist, and since 2008, with Norwegian Cruise Lines and Azamara Club Cruises as a bandmaster, music director and pianist.


"Dan was one of the few students I've ever had whose work ethic matched his statements about his commitment to music,” said his mentor Kurt Ellenberger, professor of music in the Honors College and assistant director of the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center. “His success is a direct result of his persistence, dedication, and most importantly, his follow through. Dan was one of the only students in the department who could perform as a professional in virtually any setting.”


Aboard various cruise ships, Redner has also directed many Broadway shows, including: “Shout!,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” and “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.”

Traveling at length the past few years simply doing what I love is the biggest blessing one can ask for,” he said. “It’s amusing to me the number of occasions I have woken up in the morning not even knowing what country I’m in.”   

That will change in the fall of 2011, when Redner will attend the University of Texas, at Austin, to pursue both his master’s and doctorate degrees in music performance and composition, with a jazz studies emphasis.


“I will always aspire to perform in variety of settings, but I hope to use my degrees to educate at the collegiate level,” said Redner. “I take great satisfaction, as do all teachers, when a student makes progress through your guidance, and you see the joy instilled in them at those particular moments.”






by Kevin Virant

This story was filed with the tags: Arts, Impressive Jobs, Music, Undergraduate Alumni