• Cyril Stretansky directs the Susquehanna University choir and orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2008.

April 14, 2022

Susquehanna University will celebrate the life and legacy of the late Cyril Stretansky, emeritus director of choral activities, with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in Weber Chapel Auditorium.

The program will feature university choral ensembles and alumni singers in a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, as well as other pieces. It will be conducted by Stretansky Distinguished Professor Amy Voorhees.

Tickets are not required, and the concert is open to the public.

Stretansky came to Susquehanna in 1972 and retired as professor of music and director of choral activities in 2008. During his tenure at Susquehanna, his choirs recorded 18 volumes of choral literature. In 1987, Stretansky was awarded the John C. Horn Award for distinguished scholarship and service to the university. Stretansky’s legacy and dedication to his students and the university are memorialized with The Cyril M. Stretansky Distinguished Professorship in Choral Music, endowed in 2001, and the Stretansky Concert Hall, dedicated in 2003. ​

Stretansky served as a guest conductor, choral clinician, adjudicator and baritone soloist in 14 states, Canada, Mexico, France and Italy. He served several years as artistic director and principal conductor of the International Music Festival in Italy, conducting massed festival choirs at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Cathedral of Florence, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and the Cathedral of Milan. In this capacity he conducted a Radio Free Europe broadcast from the Vatican. Stretansky also conducted choral performances at the ancient cathedral of Mexico City and the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. In 2000, he was invited to join the faculty of the Assisi Music Festival where he also served as baritone soloist and church cantor. Stretansky also served as guest conductor for the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary from 2003-07.

Stretansky served for 24 years as music director and conductor of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale and the Orchestra of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. During this time, he conducted more than 70 major choral works scored for soloists and chorus with orchestra.

Among his many honors, Stretansky was recognized by the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania as the ninth recipient of the prestigious Elaine Brown Award for distinguished artistic leadership and choral conducting excellence, was a national arts associate of the national professional music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, and held a citation of excellence from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association for excellence in higher education teaching.

Stretansky died on June 13, 2021, at the age of 86. A native of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Mansfield University in 1957, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education and was later named a member of the music department’s honor roll of distinguished graduates. Stretansky went on to earn his Master of Music Education from Temple University. He also studied at the Meadowbrook School of Oakland University and at Cambridge University in England. In 1999, he studied the interpretation of the Gregorian chant at the Benedictine Monastery of the St. Pierre in Solesmes, France.