Susan Quinn


Professionally... you might know that Susan Quinn teaches music and directs the award-winning choral and string ensembles at Holy Heart of Mary High School in St. John's, Newfoundland. She is also founder and conductor of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble, one of the province's most accomplished amateur choirs. Susan is active as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, Suzuki violin instructor, and vocal coach in musical theatre. Among her choirs' accomplishments are first prize at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the gold medal at the International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, several national choral awards, a YTV Achievement Award, and five compact discs. In 2001, she was named a recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.

Personally... Susan has been married for almost 20 years to her husband Todd and has one daughter, Robyn. Her family is the most important thing to her and she feels that motherhood is a real gift – and her greatest joy. To unwind after a hectic year of teaching and conducting Susan finds renewal in spending her summers with family at their cabin in Brigus.

As a Music Educator - "I think Music should be used as a vehicle to reach students, and not for our own purposes. Music can have a larger role in teaching students about tolerance and hard work. We (as music educators) need to reach out to a wide array of students and make our choirs microcosms of a larger segment of people. For me, being a choral director is about people from different backgrounds working together and caring about one another."

Some School of Music Memories - "One of my favourite memories is of the MUN Jazz Choir. It only lasted one year – with rehearsals first thing Saturday mornings! I also appreciate the broadness of the program. It kept me in an open state of mind which allowed me, a string player, to fully experience choral music. I’ve since learned that not all programs are as tolerant for different disciplines."

In the Future - There are many exciting possibilities for Susan. In 2006 she will get the opportunity to conduct a 750 voice SATB high school honours choir in Toronto – and it is "side projects" like this that might well shape her future. In 7 years Susan will be eligible to retire from teaching. This will give her the time to focus on all those other projects that she now has to fit in to a hectic teaching schedule – or as she puts it – to change the "..insane to sane."

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