Susan Spafford, violin
Sheila Ossit Chair
Susan Spafford (violin, Sheila Ossit chair in honor of Susan Spafford) is a member of the Richmond Symphony (VA), Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (NY), and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH). She has played regularly with the symphonies in Allentown and Harrisburg (PA), Albany, Binghamton, and ProMusica (NY), and other regional orchestras in NJ and NYC. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Erie Chamber Orchestra and given recitals at Mansfield University, the Library of Congress, throughout the United States and in Seoul, South Korea. She has regularly appeared in chamber music performances of the Lancaster Festival Concert Series and Cayuga Chamber Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series.
Ms. Spafford has been a featured Faculty Guest Artist for the String Institute at Ithaca College and has been on the faculty of The Ridgewood Conservatory since 2008. As an advocate for the importance of music in education, she has been invited to address state legislatures on the issue of the Performing Arts in school curriculum, and has collaborated with organizations such as VH1, ASTA, and MENC. She has presented hundreds of performances and workshops at schools and events throughout the country and has been a featured guest in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Family Concert Series and state Music Educators Association’s Conferences. As a natural extension of her performing and education roles, Ms. Spafford became involved in helping to run The Music Paradigm, an organization that works with orchestras around the world to promote live classical music and develop new audiences. From 2017 through 2021, she served as the CCO’s Executive Director, while continuing to perform as part of the violin section.
Ms. Spafford earned her Master’s degree in Violin Performance and Bachelor’s degrees in Performance and Education from the Eastman School of Music where her primary instructors were Catherine Tait and Lynn Blakeslee. Additional instructors/coaches have included Gregory Fulkerson, James Buswell, William Preucil, Paul O’Dette, and Patinka Kopec. She is an adjudicator for the NY State School Music Association, has completed teacher training courses with the Suzuki Association of Americas, and is a graduate of the Essentials of Orchestra Management program run by the League of American Orchestras.