A powerhouse pair of women have been working for nearly a decade at SCF to elevate the music program and promote students who shine. The pair have switched roles this year as Robyn Bell has taken over the duties of program director for the college’s music department.
Melodie Dickerson, director of vocal studies, helped hire Bell, director of instrumental studies, nearly 10 years ago. Since then they have worked together to help music students flourish. Over the summer, Dickerson passed the baton as music program director over to Bell, who also is the director of SCF’s Bradenton Symphony Orchestra and the SCF Symphonic Band.
As director of instrumental studies, Bell, who holds a doctor of musical arts degree, works to connect student musicians to professional and community musicians.
The two are part of a thriving music program at SCF where Pete Carney serves as director of jazz studies, Don Bryn serves as director of keyboard and theory studies, and Rex Willis is director of guitar and composition studies. The music program at SCF prepares students who want to transfer to a four-year university and continue with their music studies.
“This superb team of dedicated individuals provide the area’s best and most comprehensive music education for students looking to further their skills,” Bell said. “With talented faculty and staff, state-of-the-art performance facilities, scholarship opportunities, and a vibrant, receptive and enthusiastic audience to attend performances, students who enroll in the SCF Music Program are guaranteed the highest level of experience, support and success.”
Dickerson served as the program director for a dozen years. During her tenure, thousands of students have come through the program, and she has had a hand in awarding hundreds of scholarships. Many of those students also have gone on to perform professionally or returned to Manatee and Sarasota counties to teach the next generation of musicians.
As the new program director, Bell will work with Dickerson to ensure the program’s trajectory will continue to rise. They have worked together on plans for the new Studio for the Performing Arts and are promoting the benefits throughout the community. Producing high quality performances for students, staff and the larger community to enjoy is the ultimate thrill for the pair. They are working to ensure SCF has the resources and support to build an accessible recital hall that offers more intimate performances for the performers and audiences.
For more information, contact Bell at BellR@SCF.edu or 941-752-5579.