At Northampton High, curtain opens for new drama, theater instructor

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Caroline Gibson

BY STEFANIE JACKSON, Eastern Shore Post —

Northampton County Public Schools’ new choir and theater instructor brings to the Eastern Shore a high level of achievement in the study, performance, and teaching of music, as well as a connection to a resident who is a nationally recognized opera singer.

“I’m truly, truly excited about what’s about to happen,” said Caroline Gibson in a Sept. 5 interview. “I met the students today … and they’re just wonderful young people.”

Gibson, of Custis Tomb, near Cape Charles, holds a doctorate degree in musical arts from the University of Iowa School of Music.

She was the director of choral activities at the former Delaware State College, now Delaware State University.

Gibson also was a professor of voice and director of an opera and musical theater workshop at Kentucky State University.

Most recently, she taught piano and voice to students of all ages at the International School of Music in Potomac, Md.

Through performances in concerts and other musical productions, she met Alvy Powell Jr., an opera singer who has performed for U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries. He has also sung in the U.S. Army Chorus.

Powell, a native of Cheriton and Northampton High School alumnus, and Gibson, from the Washington, D.C. area, have known each other for 40 years. They were married last year and recently celebrated their first anniversary.

Gibson had delayed relocating to the Eastern Shore until she could secure work here. She just started her first year teaching in Northampton public schools.

Gibson’s position was developed to meet the growing demand by Northampton students for music and theater classes.

This is the first time in several years that theater electives have been offered by the school division.

Gibson joins Brad Ford, who has taught in the Northampton high and middle school music department for the last five years.

With Gibson handling choir and theater, Ford can concentrate on teaching band in the classroom and coaching the marching band after school.

Gibson will teach courses for all levels of musical skill.

Her goal is to present a musical theater production in the spring, including students from all of her classes.

She has never taught in a public school before, but her mother taught in public elementary schools in Washington, D.C., for 35 years, and Gibson is looking forward to working with her new students.

She said, “I just can’t wait to form relationships with all of them and put them onstage.”

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