Her voice is familiar to the millions of people who have heard her sing on the Charlie Brown TV specials in the 1970s and 1980s, but to the AU community, she is known as one of the daughters of late AU President Dr. Robert Reardon.
“Both of our parents were incredible musicians,” said Connie Hippensteel, Reardon's sister and AU wellness program director. “My family grew up with music incorporated in our day-to-day lives. That was one of the biggest gifts that our parents gave us.”
Reardon often recalls singing with her parents and younger siblings on the beach, on long road trips, and in church. In fact, some of Reardon’s favorite memories involve singing with her family. Hippensteel said that although the entire family enjoyed playing instruments and singing, Reardon was the one that really made a connection between music and healing.
Reardon graduated from AU majoring in French and history, but her passion for music has led her to where she is today. The desert and high mountains drew Becky to Taos, N.M., in the early 1990s and transformed her music. As she camped and hiked, she began to create songs inspired by the nature around her: the calls of the birds, the flow the streams, and the pulse of her feet on the trails.
“The breathing and harmonizing we do when we sing together makes us feel more alive. It enlivens our senses and connects our mind, body, and spirit,” said Reardon. “The songs I write and the workshops I give celebrate the natural world around us and our being alive in it.”
Reardon has recorded and produced four albums of original songs and has been teaching singing classes and leading workshops for the past 10 years. Her songs have spread to singing circles and choirs all across the United States, Canada, the British Isles, and Europe.
In March, Reardon will be traveling to campus with friend Velma Frye, a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a strong background in classical and popular styles.
“Velma and I will be performing some of our original songs,” said Reardon. “My hope is that Velma and I will be able to give students a taste of what it is like to follow one’s passion throughout a lifetime. We are now in our 60s and still being creative, making new discoveries and friends, and feeling the satisfaction of seeing our work spread far and wide.”
Reardon and Frye hope that during the workshop and concert, the singing of their songs will bring students comfort, joy, healing, and a deep sense of connection with our planet and each other.
“A big part of wellness is building community, and through this workshop, students, faculty, and people outside the AU community will have the opportunity to make new connections,” said Hippensteel.
Women of all musical abilities are invited to join Reardon and Frye’s workshop for women, “Singing Harmony: Bringing Wellness to Mind, Body, and Spirit,” which will be held in the Krannert Fine Arts Center, Room 102 on Saturday, March 3, from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Cost will be on a sliding scale from $10-25. To reserve a place in the workshop, please contact Connie Hippensteel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reardon’s concert will be held on the AU campus in the Krannert Fine Arts Center, Room 102, on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. No reservations are needed. AU students can attend the workshop and concert for free, thanks to donations from AU alum Dr. Stan Kirkpatrick, BA 1961.
— Kristyn Rhynard is a senior from Ithaca, Mich., majoring in communication arts. Rhynard is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.