Rita Bieber grew quickly as a musician. Her lessons in music began with her mother, and then with local teachers in Tunkhannock, the small town near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where they lived. She studied music and organ at Pennsylvania State University (class of ’48). She taught music in public school as well as to a few private pupils over the years, and played with her mother as a church organist every week. Today Rita lives in Meadow Glen, the personal care community that opened at Phoebe Richland in 2016.
Even in retirement, Rita kept busy with music. For more than ten years—up until she was almost 95—she played at McCoole’s at the Red Lion Inn in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, just down the road from her previous home in Kintnersville. Along with perfect pitch—a rare gift even for professional musicians—Rita has a remarkable talent for playing by ear. “She’s pretty incredible,” says Jan Hench, owner of McCoole’s. “She had lists of titles for people to look at and you could just spout off a title at her or start humming the tune and she’d start playing. She never used sheet music.”
Read the entire article in the Phoebe Messenger, Spring 2019, pg. 18 & 19.