During his 40+ year audio production engineering career, Rob Colby has received many accolades, including being named Technical Excellence and Creativity (TEC) “Front of House Engineer of the Year” five straight years and receiving a 2000 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special as part of the audio team for the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards Show.
He has also served as the Front of House (FOH) Engineer for major artist tours including Prince, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Bob Seger, Genesis, Heart, Janet Jackson, The Cure, Phil Collins, Paula Abdul, Ricky Martin, Shakira and Pat Benatar. During his time working with Prince, he also ran the rehearsal studios at Paisley Park as well as the production stage and studio C. Most recently, he served as FOH Engineer from 2013 – 2018 for Britney Spears’ Piece of Me residency in Las Vegas.
Colby credits his start at South Central College, or as it was known when he attended – Mankato Area Vocational Technical Institute (Vo-Tec), for helping launch him into his career. For his final project in the electronics program at the Vo-Tec, he built a mixing console from scratch, which he said, “allowed me to move forward in my career as an audio production mixer/engineer.”
On Thursday, March 21 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., Colby will present the mixing console to South Central College and share his story with the college’s mechatronics students. The event will take place in A166 on SCC’s North Mankato Campus at 1920 Lee Boulevard, and everyone is welcome. “What I thought would be neat would be for the school to have it as a display of what is truly possible to achieve at the school,” said Colby. His “incredible instructor” Merlyn Plotz will also be in attendance.
A 1976 graduate of the electronics program, Colby received the college’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2001.