Student’s tribute to a music teacher: Music In Our Schools Month

Central Penn Parent Staff//March 24, 2017

Student’s tribute to a music teacher: Music In Our Schools Month

Central Penn Parent Staff//March 24, 2017

Behind every excellent musician is an excellent teacher. In my short career I have been lucky enough to learn from many excellent music teachers and professors, each one pushing me in a new way or bringing me fresh insight and inspiration. While I could write pages on all of the teachers that have inspired me, the professor I want to highlight is Dr. Robert Bigley. Dr. Bigley is the current director of chorale activities at Lancaster Bible College, as well as the conducting professor and voice teacher; but Dr. Bigley has been much more than just a music teacher to his countless students over the years.

My first impression of Dr. Bigley was that he was a cool conductor with a bow tie, but I quickly learned how much he brought to the school and the community. One thing that makes Dr. Bigley such a great teacher is his desire for his students to reach excellence in their craft. Whether it is in chorale, conducting, voice lessons or opportunities outside of school, he is always pushing us to be better, sometimes through brutal honesty and sometimes through words of encouragement. He works hard to instill discipline and professionalism in his students, not just to be great musicians, but to be good stewards of the gifts they have been given.

Dr. Bigley has an ability to bring people together and establish community. In our chorale at LBC, rehearsal will stop to encourage and pray for a struggling friend, celebrate an engagement or recognize an achievement. No birthday passes without an over-the-top version of “Happy Birthday” and no new members come into the chorale without the official newbie tradition of ridiculous would-you-rather questions.

Dr. Bigley constantly speaks truth into our lives and encourages us to live with integrity. Not only does he encourage us to share things going on in our lives, but Dr. Bigley openly shares his heart and welcomes our advice. I think it is rare to have such a talented, accomplished professor teach with humility and be willing ask students for input and opinions. The work ethic he instills and community he has helped build has created a group of people that truly are a family, where we can all step out of our hectic lives as students and come together to create beautiful music.

While Dr. Bigley is an incredible teacher, he also goes above and beyond his job at Lancacster Bible College, and there are countless examples of him stepping in as my “Pennsylvania dad.” I know I can come to him with questions or doubts and get a truthful answer, and that he always wants what is best for his students.

Thank you, Dr. Bigley, for pushing us to be better and for not being afraid to tell it like it is. Thank you for putting your heart into your work and for reminding us that our worth is found in much more than our music. Thank you for always making us laugh. And thank you for giving us an example of living with integrity, being willing to step out in faith, and for walking alongside me and so many other students as we navigate this crazy life of performance.


Rebekah Hill is a native Michigander working towards her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Lancaster Bible College. She is an avid coffee drinker, dancer and daily strives to love Jesus and live in grace. She has been seen around Lancaster in productions at Lancaster Bible College, Popovsky Performing Arts and Servant Stage Company. She is very excited to play her dream role of Cinderella in Into the Woods this spring with Steitz City Players, followed by Evita at Prima Theatre in the fall.



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