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Souls from the Same Symphony: Alum Shares Connection with Scholarship Recipient

Supporting and guiding students in their journey to reach their full potential remains a core value to Rob Goodling ’67, who completed his master’s at the prestigious Eastman School of Music after graduating with a degree in music education from LVC. He believes every student is the reason a teacher should teach. 

Wanting to assist upcoming students who shared similar values, Goodling created the Rob. W. Goodling Music Education Scholarship at Lebanon Valley College. In a twist of fate, Justin Kripas ’21, a double major in audio & music production and music education, was the first to receive the scholarship.  

“I intended for this scholarship to be awarded to a multi-talented student who would go on to become an outstanding teacher,” Goodling said. “I was really pleased to learn that a gifted musician of Kripas’ caliber was named the first recipient of my scholarship.”

Having earned a full four-year scholarship for tuba while at LVC, Goodling understood the importance of financial aid and rewarding committed students. Having been an active student himself, Goodling was drawn to Kripas’ campus involvement and high standing among LVC’s music faculty. 

“I was immediately hired as a freshman pianist to accompany in voice studios and to be stage manager for recitals,” Goodling recalled. “In my junior and senior years, I became the drillmaster and director of the marching band and created the half-time shows.”

Sharing the same adventurous spirit as Goodling, Kripas has dipped his foot in all areas of the music field, including recording, performing, teaching, and even composing. Additionally, Kripas has taken advantage of many performance opportunities LVC offers, such as marching band, jazz band, guitar ensemble, pit orchestra, choir, and several other ensembles. 

Kripas’ current list of performance instruments includes the electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, voice, trombone, bass trombone, drum set, piano, keyboard, and saxophone. 

“I began my musical endeavors in fourth grade when I had an interest in playing the saxophone, but humorously enough, I could not understand how to use a reed-based instrument,” Kripas said. “It was when I was handed a trombone mouthpiece that it simply made sense!” 

Upon the awarding of the scholarship, Goodling reached out to Kripas, congratulated him, and shared his experiences since graduation and information about his current job as a music history teacher at the Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

In addition to growing his connection with Goodling, Kripas plans to continue learning new instruments, exploring the music field, and composing original music. Meanwhile, Goodling looks forward to connecting with and supporting future recipients of the scholarship. 

“My teaching and performing careers have been extremely rewarding, and I will always be grateful to LVC for giving me opportunities to learn and grow in every possible way,” reflected Goodling.