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Reflecting on a Legacy

Bob Drafall Looks Back and Looks Forward to Keeping Tabs on the Future of State High Music

If you know Bob Drafall, it will come as no surprise to you that he was selected to be one of the inaugural honorees of the Maroon and Gray Society. As for Bob, he was shocked to be chosen from among many worthy candidates. In his 19-year career at State High, Bob served as director of choirs, and for four years as music coordinator.

“My goodness, when I think of the former faculty, staff, and students who have passed through the halls of State High over the years and their truly amazing accomplishments, I feel so honored to have been selected!” Bob exclaimed, when we caught up with him to talk about the honor.

Looking back, Bob acknowledged that he had some tremendous accomplishments, but mostly he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to create such a proud legacy along with his fellow faculty and students.

“I have been blessed to teach thousands of truly outstanding young adults, and my profession as a choral conductor allowed me the unique opportunity to often work with students for up to four years. I appreciated the opportunity to watch these students mature,” he said.

"I have been blessed to teach thousands of truly outstanding young adults"

Throughout Bob’s tenure, the State High Choir appeared at many state and regional conventions of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, as well as the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. He also led choirs in six European concert tours, showcasing their talents in some of the greatest historical venues around the world, including San Marcos Basilica in Venice, Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Winchester Cathedral in England, and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Bob also led State High’s master singers as one of four choirs selected nationally to perform Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requieum to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Although his list of accomplishments is impressive, Bob measures his success by the impact he has had on his students.

“Honestly, my favorite memories of my career at State High are from daily instruction in Room 38N. I cherish the process of teaching more than anything,” he said. “In addition, nearly two dozen of my former students are choral music educators, including my successor, Erik Clayton, who was a freshman my first year at State High!”

"Honestly, my favorite memories of my career at State High are from daily instruction in Room 38N. I cherish the process of teaching more than anything."

Today, Bob is retired, but he continues to stay connected to the music community, both through former students, as well as his wife Lynn, also a music educator. She plans to retire in June from the Penn State School of Music, where she served as Professor of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities.

Together, they have been enjoying Bob’s retirement and traveling extensively. Bob also remains in contact with many of his former students, offering advice when they seek it and helping them as best as he can with life decisions.

Bob shows the same dedication to community as he did to teaching. He actively supports the State College Food Bank, Global Connections, Centre County PAWS, and The United Way. He also remains connected to the district and is thrilled about improvements to the facilities and what they mean for the music program.

“I have made a point of staying in touch with my former colleagues. I’m excited for the new facilities and cannot wait until the new Performing Arts wing is complete,” he said.

Congratulations to Bob on his accomplishments and for being selected by the SCASD community for this honor!