Faculty Retirement | Dr. Bruce Gerlach 

by LBC Marketing

May 14, 2024

Posted: May 14, 2024

Faculty Retirement | Dr. Bruce Gerlach 

by LBC Marketing

One of Dr. Bruce Gerlach’s first memories at Lancaster Bible College is teaching students to play recorders in a general education Music Appreciation class. His service to LBC has come full circle, as Gerlach is retiring from the college after the spring 2024 semester. One of his final acts of service will be to help lead the 2024 Hymn Sing at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 19. [Read more here and reserve free tickets here.]

Bruce Gerlach.Hired as an adjunct faculty member during the 1986-87 academic year, Gerlach returned to LBC in 2017 to teach courses such as Music Theory, Composition, Arranging, Electronic Media and Songwriting. He also oversaw a spring student songwriting competition with cash prizes. 

From learning to play a recorder to composing original pieces, Gerlach appreciates that LBC students are challenged—more than just musically. 

“LBC is a nurturing, safe environment for the students, all followers of Jesus Christ, to be challenged and encouraged musically, artistically, professionally and spiritually,” he said. “As faculty and staff, we are given the privilege to observe the growth spurt of our students over the duration of their time spent with us. What a joy!” 

Born and raised in Lancaster County, Gerlach was regularly chosen for various high school honors choirs, including at the state level. After graduating with a Music Education degree from The King’s College in New York City and marrying his wife, Margie, he began a career as a church musician, organist and choirmaster. While serving as Director of Music Ministries at Manor Church in Lancaster from 1981-88, Gerlach earned a master’s degree in Music Composition from West Chester University. After completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting, organ and theory at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1992, Gerlach began a teaching career at College of the Ozarks near Branson, Mo., where he served until 2016. He returned to Pennsylvania and taught part time at LBC while also serving as Music Director for the Lancaster Chorale, a hundred-voice choir that performs sacred classical music with a live orchestra.  

For the “90 Years of Musical Excellence” weekend celebration at LBC in April, Gerlach composed a new piece for the college’s string orchestra. Titled “Hope,” the work incorporated the hymn tunes from “My Hope is in the Lord,” “The Solid Rock” and “Hyfrydol.” Defined as “concert modern,” in that it has both modern and traditional elements, the four-minute piece ends with energy and joy. 

Even in retirement, Gerlach doesn’t intend to slow down. First, he plans to “relieve the pent-up desire to travel and experience new places” with Margie, with whom he has two grown children and two grandchildren.  

“I also plan to spend more time creating music and marketing it for professional performance,” Gerlach shares, “and to pursue my hobbies of stained glass, model railroading and astronomy.” 

Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Gerlach!

What’s your next step?