Beatrice Waterbrook Ross
Bea Ross, a pianist, organist, accompanist, and singer, has taught piano for over fifty years. She has also been active as a vocal soloist and singer in ensembles and choirs.
Bea was born in Modesto, California, one of three children and the only daughter born to Louis and Emma Cavil Waterbrook. Music was an important part of family life, her mother being a pianist and her father a singer. Bea began singing in church at age two and started piano lessons while very young.
Most of her childhood was spent in West De Pere, Wisconsin, where she attended and graduated from the local high school in 1955, after having attended Wisconsin Academy for a while. In those formative years, she was particularly inspired by music teacher Barbara Kellogg Worden. Bea then enrolled at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University, where during her freshman year she decided to pursue a voice major. While at EMC, she was a member of the Collegians, a select choir directed by Melvin Davis, another influential music teacher in her training as a singer.
She married Richard Ross in 1957 in Denver, Colorado, and in the following year, established a piano studio, which continues to the present in the Walla Walla, Washington, area, where she has lived since 1970. In subsequent years she has also worked as a secretary and office manager and sung in church and community choirs as well as in smaller vocal ensembles. Beginning in 1977 and continuing until 1992, Ross was choir accompanist for the Milton-Stateline Seventh-day Adventist School in nearby Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
One of her brothers, Carl E. Waterbrook, a singer and choir director, pursued a career in music after graduating from Walla Walla College with a music degree in 1968. He taught music at Georgia-Cumberland Academy and Savannah High School in Georgia, and completed an M.Mus. at AU in 1973.
The Rosses would have three children, Karin Sue, Kathryn Ross (Schaffer), and Robert Alan. Kathryn, who completed a B.Mus. in clarinet performance at Walla Walla College in 1986, is pursuing a career in music teaching and is active as a clarinetist.
Source: Information provided by Beatrice Waterbrook Ross, September 2011.