When people pass Derek Bebeau in the hallways of Redwood Valley schools they might just hear music.

Having a choir teacher who can’t help but sing wherever he is probably is a pretty good thing.

Yes, Bebeau, a 2013 graduate of Redwood Valley High School has returned, but now he has a different role.

When the 2020-21 school year started, Bebeau began his latest role in education as the Grades 5-12 choir director and the general music teacher for students in the fifth and sixth grade at Redwood Valley schools.

Bebeau works with four different choirs during the week, with the fifth- and sixth-grade choirs meeting one day and the seventh- and eighth-grade choir and the high-school choir meeting every day. He teaches general music the days when the fifth and sixth graders do not have choir. 

Bebeau attended Bemidji State University where he earned degrees in vocal music education and vocal performance. He also earned a coaching certificate and was involved with the choral program at the university.

It was during his final choir concert at RVHS when Bebeau said he knew for sure that he was going to be a choir teacher.

“I knew I wanted to be on the other side of performing,” he said, adding music is what made him what he is today.

“When I was in sixth grade I was pretty shy,” Bebeau said, adding through his music experiences at Redwood Valley he came out of his shell.

For Bebeau music is the ultimate form of expression, and in the role of a music educator he wants to help other students use it as a way to express themselves.

Bebeau started his career working with the Starland Hutterite colony near Gibbon where he taught all of the students and even worked with the community choir.

Last year he was the choir director and general music teacher at Pine River-Backus.

When the opportunity arose, Bebeau knew he wanted to come back to his alma mater.

“This was an opportunity I just could not pass up,” he said.

He also appreciates working with his former teachers.

Bebeau said he is working with students under the assumption that there are going to be performances in the future although what that looks like now is still uncertain.