Associate Professor of Music
Director of the Music Program
Elizabeth Tibbs, the new full-time music faculty member at Siena Heights University, is working to not only remake her office, but SHU’s music program as well.
The Lenawee County native has had ties with Siena Heights since her childhood. She was trained on piano by now-retired Sister Magdalena Ezoe, a longtime Siena Heights faculty member, and had been neighbors with previous Siena Heights art faculty member, the late Father David Van Horn.
Most recently, Tibbs comes to SHU from Arizona Western College, where she taught piano, voice, music history and the choirs as a professor of music. While teaching in Arizona, Tibbs created a non-profit organization called the Yuma Youth Choir.
Tibbs plans on taking the SHU choir to perform at the Vatican in December 2012. The group will spend two weeks in Italy, performing not only at the Vatican but also at the Children’s Hospital of Rome.
Tibbs said a key is encouraging more student involvement in the music program. She hopes to provide music scholarships within a year as an extra incentive.
“I want the students to realize that music and the arts are a really important part of a well-rounded life, which fits in well with a liberal arts education,” Tibbs said.
She recently helped SHU restore the music major on campus. She also hopes to connect to SHU’s thriving theater/musical theater program.
She also intends to integrate the music program into other areas on campus. She finished a new spirit (fight) song in conjunction with the start of SHU’s first football team. She is heading the efforts to begin a marching band on campus in fall 2012.
Besides organizing the mixed choir for this fall, she is also coordinating the jazz ensemble, youth symphony and acapella choir.
“We don’t want people to feel intimidated. I encourage everyone to come, no matter what their background,” Tibbs said of getting involved in the SHU music program. “Even if you don’t think you have a good voice. If you love to sing, please come. I know I can bring out the best in everyone and help them sing well.”