FSC Music Professor to Teach in Northern Spain as Fulbright Senior Scholar in Spring 2022

Apr 6, 2021

by Greg Williams
Senior Writer

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program has selected Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies Beth Gibbs of Florida Southern College as the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for Teaching.

During the spring semester of 2022, Dr. Gibbs will work as an instructor and collaborate with conductors and their regional choirs in northern Spain. She will teach at Musikene, the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country in San Sebastián, Spain. Dr. Gibbs also plans to work with an award-winning conductor and professor of choral direction, Basilio Astúlez, and his choirs at the Municipal Conservatory of Leioa, where he promotes choral singing for young people. 

“I’m excited about learning from him, and to be able to learn about the choral traditions and music in that area,” Dr. Gibbs says, adding that she and Professor Astúlez hope to combine forces and organize a choral concert, if pandemic restrictions no longer are necessary.

Dr. Gibbs also is planning to headline several workshops and master classes with choral conductors in Barcelona through the Catalonian Choral Federation, “shining a light on our similarities and learning from each other,” she says. “The point [of the Fulbright program] is to build these international connections. You have the opportunity to enhance your host institution with your own professional experience and knowledge, and to bring what you learn back to your community and home institution, to enhance your personal and professional growth.”

She looks forward to sharing the knowledge she gains about new composers and musical styles with the FSC community and her local colleagues, and through presentations at regional or national music conferences.

Dr. Gibbs earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Miami, her Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from East Carolina University, and her Bachelor of Music Education from Stetson University. She taught for six years at the high school level in Atlanta.

The Fulbright Program is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2021, annually awarding approximately 8,000 grants to student scholars, professors and other faculty members, artists, and other professionals at all career levels in more than 160 countries worldwide. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program aims to expand and strengthen relationships between citizens of the United States and other countries across the globe.

In 2016, Dr. Carmen Gauthier taught and conducted research in Lima, Peru, as the recipient of a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar award.

In 2016, the Fulbright Program awarded a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant to FSC’s Dr. Carmen Gauthier, professor of chemistry and The Jessie Ball duPont Fund Chair in the Natural Sciences. As the only other recipient of a faculty Fulbright currently working at Florida Southern, Dr. Gauthier joined with Dr. Jennifer Moffitt, an assistant professor of English and the College’s national fellowships advisor, to consult with Dr. Gibbs and offer advice for portions of her application.

“It was a great honor to be selected as a recipient of a Fulbright Core Scholar award,” says Dr. Gauthier, whose Fulbright grant allowed her to teach and conduct research at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima. “Five years later, I still collaborate with people in Peru on research, promoting stem education and fostering communication between student organizations from both universities. It’s a commitment that can become a long-lasting relationship.”