Alumni, students and faculty came together for the Light’s Up event in celebration of Jeannette Lipford’s life on Sept. 17
Lipford taught voice from 1968-92 in the music and theater department and contributed to the community in many ways which include teaching voice lessons for ACU Homecoming musicals for 47 years, as well as Sing Song hosts for 22 years. She passed away at 91 years old.
The event was to celebrate Lipford’s life because there was no funeral or memorial service due to COVID-19. In addition to a memorial service, the event was intended to honor Lipford for her contributions to the department. This event was a celebration that included 6 alumnus who were vocally directed by her for a musical.
These alumni include:
- Jonathan Bragg who performed “C’mon Everybody” from musical “All Shook Up”
- Dr. Rick Piersall who sang “Somewhere” from “West Side Story”
- Griffin Jones who sang “Heartbreaker” from “Bright Star”
- Payton Reeves who sang “100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man” from “Wonderful Town”
- Annika Johansson Spalding who sang “The Finer Things” from “Jane Eyre”
- Christine Tydall Pinson who sang “Once Upon a Dream” from “Jekyll and Hyde”
Along with these performances, videos of Lipford performing were showed throughout the program.
“Having something that wasn’t just a montage of pictures, but it was something of her and her essence that really came through on [the] video side by side,” said Adam Hester, senior professor in the department of theater.
These videos provided a unique way to see who she was to people and to the department of theater. She performed “I’m Still Here” from “Side by Side” by Sondheim and “Feed the Birds” from “Mary Poppins.”
Lipford is also remembered by many through the people on campus that were impacted by her either by her directly or through others that carry her charisma and values.
“Her impact of just being so passionate, being so fun about everything, I think that is something that I want to take with me,” said Ryan Chu a junior musical theater major from Austin.