Alumni spanning nearly 50 years and 2,000 miles returned to Susquehanna’s campus to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Cyril “Cy” Stretansky, professor emeritus of music/director of choral activities, with a performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in Weber Chapel Auditorium. The concert was conducted by Stretansky Distinguished Professor Amy Voorhees.
David Steinau, chair and associate professor of music, describes Stretansky as a “force in choral music” throughout Pennsylvania and the Northeast.
“He saw the potential in students that maybe they didn’t see in themselves, and also he always wanted them singing with their real voice,” Steinau says. “He wasn’t after a choral sound where everybody sounded like the person next to them, and I think that’s what made the sound of his choirs so special.”
Stretansky joined 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. His 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 Stretansky Concert Hall, dedicated in 2003. He died on June 13, 2021, at the age of 86.
“It was important for us to honor Cy’s memory in a manner that was consistent with everything that he stood for, so of course it had to involve singing, it had to bring the Susquehanna community together and it had to be excellent, which I think it was,” Steinau says. “It was amazing to see so many alumni here to pay tribute to Cy’s memory and interact with our current students. For our current students, it’s important for them to see something of the tradition that they have become a part of.”