Susan Ramsey

Susan Ramsey starting playing at the age of 6 and made her first public appearance as a violinist on Maryland Public Television at the age of 7.  In her high school years, she performed with the Erie Philharmonic under Walter Hendel’s direction. There, she performed with artists such as Mitch Miller, Alicia de la Rocha, and Sarah Vaughan. In 1983, Susan was awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship to attend UMASS Amherst and studied with Julian Olevksy. In 1986, Susan earned her degree in Music Performance under the tutelage of Philippe Naegele from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. From there, she followed a career as a concert violinist with several symphony and chamber orchestras, including the Wantastiquet Chamber Players under the direction of Rudolph Serkin.

Susan moved to Maine in 1990 and has since performed all around the state of Maine and parts of New England with singer/songwriter David Mallett. In May of 2008, she was featured along with Mallett on National Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion”. She has also performed and recorded with many Maine musicians and has her own locally based trio. Her latest work involves composing and arranging music, both sacred and secular.

Creating music in the greatness and beauty of the natural environment is what gives Susan her inspiration. Her interests have grown to include work in the indigenous folk/dance music of the Piscataquis Region, which she includes in her curriculum. For over 20 years, Susan has run the North Country Strings Music Studio, giving private lessons to both children and adults in a variety of stringed instruments. She also directs the choir at the Dover-Foxcroft United Methodist Church.

In the fall of 2008, Susan was invited by FA Music Director Shane Ellis to utilize the Mentorship Program as a pilot project to assess the interest in creating a String Program at the Academy, and two years later, a very vital and strong program has developed with committed students who play with great enthusiasm and competence. The String Program offers classes and individual lessons in violin, viola, ‘cello, and bass violin, as well as small string and mixed ensembles, and orchestra. The repertoire is diverse, with offerings of classical pieces by Bach and Mozart, to music from China, to Celtic and Quebecois folk music that comes from this region. Susan may be reached at