Bedell inducted into Petal Academic Hall of Fame


Dr. Rebecca Barker Bedell joins an esteemed group of former Petal High School graduates as this year’s Petal School District Academic Hall of Fame inductee.

Bedell was in attendance during a scholarship brunch Monday where more than $48,500 in scholarships was presented by the Petal Education Foundation.

The new inductee will be present during PHS graduation excercises tonight at Reed Green Coliseum.

Bedell is a 1983 graduate of Petal High School. During high school, she was a member of the Starlettes Dance Team, PHS Corians, the Mixed Ensemble, Sextet, the Drama Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bible Club, cheerleader, was in the cast of three PHS Musicals, including the Wizard of Oz, Annie Get Your Gun and she sang the lead role in the 1983 production of Li’l Abner. She was also a member of Petal’s very first show choir under the direction of Gail McInnis.

She began her collegiate degree in Music Performance at Jones County Junior College before transferring with a music scholarship to the University of Mississippi. Bedell holds the Bachelor’s Degree(cum Laude) and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance as well as having completed all the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi (Magna cum Laude). She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has also done significant post-graduate work toward a Master’s Degree in Christian Thought at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Dr. Bedell served as the Minister of Worship and Culture at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando for ten years prior to retiring. She held previous posts as the Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator for Music Studies at Seminole State College in Orlando, FL and the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.

Rebecca made her European conducting debut in St. Peters Basilica in Rome, Italy while still in graduate school.  She has served as an active choral clinician and adjudicator in national and international venues. Choirs under her direction have toured and concertized throughout the United States, England, France, Mexico, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. Under her leadership, the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando Chancel Ensemble was selected to perform for the 2005 and 2007 Florida Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association. Her choirs have also released two CD’s of the finest sacred choral music. Dr. Bedell’s article on blending Taize and Iona styles of prayer into traditional worship schematics has also been published by Reformed Worship Magazine. Dr. Bedell made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007, conducting a new major work, “Mass for the Millennium” in Carnegie Hall. The performance received a standing ovation and four curtain calls.

After retiring as a professional musician and conductor, Rebecca decided to travel a different artistic path and currently serves as a representative for a designer-labelwomen’s fashion company based in Los Angeles, CA. In her role atcabi, Rebecca works with a nation-wide client base, and comes alongside other entrepreneurial women who desire an alternative way to work as their mentor and coach. She serves as a trainer for the international organization and additionally as a member of a select Strategic Task Force for company-wide innovation,education and leadership. She is one of only a small group of women to win the Carol Anderson Heart of cabi award for her work in providing micro-loans to women in developing countries - in order for them to start businesses of their own which break generational cycles of poverty. Rebecca will travel to Kenya and Rwanda this September with other award winners alongside the President and CEO of cabi to meet some of the recipients of those loans.

Rebecca is married to Mike and they have three children, Wil (32), and Ann Kallyn (27) who both currently live with their families in Florida, and Dylan(16), who is completing his freshman year in high school.Rebecca, Mike and Dylan currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.