Alumna of the Year
Choir director named alumna of the year
|Susan Dyer Knight
Memorial University's Alumni Association named Susan
Dyer Knight its Alumna of the Year for 2000. It is the highest honour awarded
by the alumni association.
Ms. Knight is the founder, director and conductor of the
internationally acclaimed Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir (NSYC). She is also
a teacher, university lecturer, clinician and an energetic advocate of
Munden Batstone, a Memorial alumnus, nominated Ms. Knight
for the award, calling her "a person with outstanding talent and
"Her intense commitment to high quality work, and the very
special relationship that she fosters with young children can only be admired
by those of us who strive for excellence in education.
Ms. Knight graduated from Memorial's School of Music in 1983
with a bachelor of music and a bachelor of music education. She won the
university medals for academic excellence in both disciplines.
In 1992, she created the NSYC. The ensemble has since toured
throughout the province and Canada. They have undertaken three international
tour in Florida, England and Finland. They have also recorded three critically
acclaimed CDs, with two more in the works.
The accolades have followed. Recent honours include:
National finalists in the CBC Radio National Choral Competition (2000); winner,
East Coast Music Awards, Best Classical Recording for Reaching from the Rock
(1999); Cultural Tourism Award, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (1999);
and the Kiwanis George S. Mathieson Trophy for the finest choral performance in
Canada, 19 and under (1998).
In August 2000 of this year, Ms. Knight won the National Woman of
Inspiration Award for the Arts from Canadian Living Magazine and Avon Canada.
She has also been named a Paul Harris Fellow by the St. John's Rotary Club.
Ms. Knight's success comes, in part, from her intense love
of Newfoundland and Labrador.
"It would have to be something pretty devastating that would
make me not stay here ítil the end of my days, working until the last minute I
could work," she says. And she vows to do "anything that I can do to ensure the
valuing of this place in its own people and beyond here, to make sure that it's
here for other generations."
In addition to her duties with the NSYC, Ms. Knight is the
artistic co-director of FESTIVAL 500, a concept she originally proposed in
1997. The choral festival and symposium was a hallmark of the Cabot 500
celebrations and has since been established as a biennial event.
She is the creator of So you always wanted to sing, a choral
course for all ages and skill levels. It is offered through Memorial's School
of Continuing Education.
She is an active proponent of endeavours in music research, and is also working
towards her doctorate from Roehampton Insitute, London, U.K.
The Alumna of the Year award was presented to Susan Dyer
Knight on Nov. 30 at the University Club, located in the Arts and
Administration Building Annex.
To read a feature article about Ms. Knight click here.
© Copyright 2002 Memorial University of Newfoundland