Choral Director Kevin Coker announces resignation

Choral Director Kevin Coker announced his resignation effective at the end of this school year during a meeting this morning in the PAC.

Natasha Vyhovsky and Olivia Baird

Choral Director Kevin Coker announced he will be leaving BVNW at the end of this school year during a meeting held in the PAC this morning. His wife, BVNW counselor Becky Coker, will also be leaving the school.

Kevin said he plans to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in choral conducting at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music as part of his long-term goal to work with the Future Music Educators program. While in the program, he will also be be paid to instruct the undergraduate men’s choir at the University of Cincinnati for the coming three years.

“After completing the degree, I’ll be able to teach at the collegiate level, and train future music educators and also work with choirs at the collegiate level,” Kevin said. “It’ll also make it an option for me to work with professional ensembles or do community or professional choir work just out in the business sector of what the music world is.”

Kevin said he was notified of his acceptance to the program over spring break after getting more serious about pursuing this degree last fall. He said programs for a DMA are extremely competitive, and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music accepts one student per year.

“You can never count on something with that small of a percentage of chance of happening to actually occur,” Kevin said. “Whenever [my acceptance] did come through and the financial came through, it seemed like it was the time for that leap.”

During his six years with BVNW, Kevin saw the choir program grow from 82 students to over 200, Murphy said during the meeting.

Becky said she is seeking another high school counseling position in the Cincinnati area.

Senior Spencer Halverson, who has been with the BVNW choir program four years, said he did not expect Kevin’s resignation but believes the change can benefit all parties.

“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for him,” Halverson said, “and I think that it’s a good opportunity for our program because we can also have the chance to get someone new, and I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for us to continue growing as a choir program.”

Murphy said the process of looking for a new choral director for next year will be underway and will include input from students and families.

Sophomore choir participant Ryan Sanford said he hopes whoever replaces Kevin will be as good at connecting with students.

“What Mr. Coker had was a connection with all of us individually, and as a whole he wasn’t just a choir director, he was a best friend that you could go and talk to,” Sanford said. “Without that loving relationship, without that close bond, it’s just not BVNW choir.”

Sanford said he has high hopes for Kevin’s future after pursuing his DMA.

“He’s one of the most brilliant teachers I’ve ever met, not only from a musical standpoint but just understanding how to handle and take care of kids,” Sanford said. “I hope that he continues to utilize that skill even with a collegiate choir…I hope that he becomes great one day because he deserves it.”