In May of 2015, the Quinte community lost a respected music director and beloved friend. Susan Richardson had been a member of the Belleville Choral Society for 39 years, including 15 years as Director. She was also a well-known organist and the recipient of a Quinte Arts Council’s Arts Recognition Award as well as a provincial Arts and Culture Award.
Inspired by opera and classical music while growing up, and by her mother’s collection of Broadway tunes on LPs, Susan began singing soprano and alto with the Belleville Choral Society in 1973. She would hold various positions within the society and in 1995, she became its Director, a position she would hold over the next 15 years.
Other contributions to the music community included teaching voice and piano to adults and children, serving as a rehearsal pianist for the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, serving as organist/choir director for St. Michael’s Church, St. Joseph’s Church, Bridge Street Church and St. Thomas’ Church in Belleville, and serving as the assistant director and organist for the Kingston Diocesan Choir.
Although she herself was gifted with tremendous musical ability, Susan would often refer to her position as a music director as that of being a ‘steward’, a responsibility she exercised with grace and professionalism, wanting to ensure first and foremost that choir and audience members came away with a sense of having shared an exceptional experience together after a performance. Her contribution to music and culture in the Quinte community will long be remembered.
(The above is an excerpt from an article written by Cynthia Fort for the Winter 2015/16 issue of Umbrella arts newspaper.)
In Susan’s honour, Linda and Roli Tipper established a student bursary in the amount of $500 to support a gifted student graduating from a secondary school in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, proceeding to further education in music at a university or college in Canada.