Remembering William “Bill” Stibor: A Great Talent and Tireless Ambassador for the Arts and Humanities
This feature was submitted by the Humanities Nebraska.
William “Bill” Stibor passed away unexpectedly in 2013. He was 49, just shy of his Aug.1 birthday. As NET Radio music director and on-air host and producer of the Morning Concert and Friday Live radio shows, he was a familiar voice on Nebraska’s NPR station since 1989. He was also a longtime force in the arts and music communities statewide.
When he passed, he was the President of the Board of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and had recently won its golden baton award as outstanding volunteer. In 2011, he was honored by the Lincoln Arts Council when he received the Mayor’s ArtScene Backstage Award.
Bill and I were friends for many years. I had the pleasure of directing him, being interviewed by him, researching guests with him for our respective entertainment programs and simply enjoying events with Bill when he, my wife and I were at a wide array of social gatherings. Bill was always the professional but also always the chum. He knew more about music and the arts than many but he never shared that information in a condescending way. Above all Bill loved what he did and who he did it with. The sounds from many instruments were heard over the airwaves on Bill’s programs but the one that is missed the most is the sound of his laughter.
Robert D. Rook
Managing Artistic Director TADA Productions, Inc.
Entertainment Reporter KLKN TV
Stibor was NET Radio’s first humanities host, producing the radio series “Connections.” He originated the Live from the Mill program which turned into Friday Live, a weekly arts and entertainment radio talk show that featured performers, artists, authors and others from Nebraska’s vibrant arts scene. He showcased and interviewed presenters from small arts organizations in the remote corners of the state to the well-known heavyweights. He believed that Nebraska arts were important and deserved attention.
Stibor was a classically trained tenor and sang with a number of choral groups at Hastings College, UNL, as well as Abendmusik at First-Plymouth, the St. Paul United Methodist Choir, the Omaha Chamber Singers, and had appeared as a soloist with Lincoln’s
Symphony Orchestra, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and TADA Productions.
He composed several works for choir and chamber ensembles, and his theatre credits include numerous productions at the Lincoln Community Playhouse.
An NET Radio listener wrote on Facebook that “90 percent of what I know about classical music I learned from listening to Bill Stibor’s Morning Concert every day for 20 years. I will miss him.”
Born in Ainsworth and reared in Bassett, he loved the arts and theatre in high school and went on to excel at Hastings College where he graduated with honors in 1985 and chaired several arts and humanities committees. He earned a master’s degree in English with a theatre minor from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln in 1991. Stibor had produced and hosted many music radio programs such as the UNL “Faculty on Stage” and the “Young Musician Competition” series. He also served as editor for several arts and promotional publications and is a published poet, appearing in the internationally recognized literary magazine “Prairie Schooner” and the “Plainsongs” poetry magazine of Hastings College. He also served on the board of the Abendmusik Performance Series and the Nebraska District Committee of the Met Opera Auditions.