The FVA Hall of Fame recognizes current and former classroom teachers who have exemplified the following: Excellence in the teaching of music and renown in the area of vocal and choral music education and noteworthy contributions through dedication and service to vocal music education, with special emphasis on outstanding service to FVA.
“The Florida Vocal Association recognizes the contributions of William “Bill” Renfroe as we present the 2022 FVA Hall of Fame Award. William Renfroe, is a retired Pinellas County veteran teacher, who taught choral music 40 years in Pinellas County School System with 30 years at Largo High School. He taught choral Methods at the University of South Florida and was a three-year interim choral director at St. Petersburg College. During his Largo High tutelage, the choral program traveled four times to Europe, once winning the Bournemouth International Music Festival, performed in Washington, D.C., performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall with John Rutter, and in the “Classical Music Festival” of Eisenstadt, Austria. LHS choirs were consistently considered a choral benchmark for Pinellas County. During his leadership, the LHS choir performed every year at Disney’s “Candlelight Processional”, with several years performing on multiple dates. Mr. Renfroe and his wife Deborah were choir directors at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Clearwater for almost twenty years back in the latter century. Mr. Renfroe was instrumental in taking their Chancel Choir on a pilgrimage concert tour of Italy in 1993. In addition, the choir sang the Sunday High Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome) and performed for Pope John Paul II. Among his many solo performing credits, Mr. Renfroe has performed with Walt Disney World’s “Voices of Liberty”, The Florida Orchestra, The National Orchestra in D.C., has performed and recorded with The Atlanta Symphony Chorus, with Robert Shaw conducting, has sung in joint Master Chorale/London Bach Choir performances with Sir David Willcocks and Sir Colin Davis. Mr. Renfroe has also performed with Rosemary Clooney, The Canadian Brass, Andy Williams, Richard Carpenter, and David Brubeck, and several others. Overseas, Mr. Renfroe has performed in England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Poland. Mr. Renfroe has performed as tenor soloist with the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria performing Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis”, and the “Harmonie Masse” of Haydn in the Esterhausy Palace , and surrounding communities, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. In addition, Mr. Renfroe has performed numerous oratorio tenor roles such as Haydn’s “Creation” Handel’s “Messiah”, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, Verdi’s “Requiem”, many Bach Cantatas as well as many other assorted solo selections with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and solo recital works. As a charter member of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Mr. Renfroe was assistant director, and tenor section leader to past directors Dr. Jo-Michael Schiebe and Dr. Richard Zielinski. Mr. Renfroe received his baccalaureate from Stetson University in Music Education and vocal Performance. He did his masters study at the University of South Florida, in conducting with Dr. Robert Summer, and voice with the late Professor Everett Anderson. Within FVA, Mr. Renfroe has been a district chairperson four times, was twice a nominee for President, and is a board-certified adjudicator. He enjoys not only adjudicating, but going to schools and working with choir/directors, as well as serving as an onstage judge. He is currently a mentor teacher with Pinellas County. He was a 2013 nominee for the Pinellas County “Teacher of the Year” and is a past recipient of “Music Educator of the Year” for Pinellas County. Mr. Renfroe is listed multiple times in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”. When asked what he does to relax, he said “…outside of travel and some music composing/arranging, I just like working with young people helping them become better students and better musicians… and future educators.”