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Bronxville, NY – Kathleen Suss, Executive Director of Concordia Conservatory, was the recipient of the National Guild of Community Arts Educators’ prestigious Milestone Award, presented at their national annual meeting on December 9.  Each year the National Guild presents the Milestone Award to individuals who have provided long-standing, exceptional service to the community arts education field.

Kathleen Suss has been the Executive Director of Concordia Conservatory since 1997, marking her 25th year in 2022.

In her role as Executive Director, Kathleen Suss has cultivated a faculty of outstanding pedagogues from top-ranked institutions.  She has elevated the Conservatory as a preeminent center for music education and the arts in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, establishing a campus in Stamford, CT in 2018. In September 2021, she successfully launched Concordia Conservatory as an independent community music school when Concordia College New York closed.  

Over the years, Kathleen’s commitment to supporting the arts along with her masterful fundraising talents, has allowed the Conservatory to create many programs – all with the goal of making music and art accessible to everyone. 

She has created a need-based scholarship program funded by major donors and through an annual student Play-a-thon for Scholarship during which hundreds of students participate and perform, garnering donations from the entire community. 

Keeping a strong presence in the communities the Conservatory serves, the following Conservatory outreach programs were established under Kathleen’s tutelage: 

  • Musical Adventures at the Library, a music and literature series, in public libraries
  • Conservatory’s annual tuition-free holiday community musical
  • Concordia Academy, a pre-college honors program
  • Morato Music Technology Lab
  • Recording Services
  • Acquisition of Arts for Healing, to provide music and art therapy in individual and group settings and oversees the music and art therapy for the public-school districts of Stamford and Norwalk, CT 

Kathleen established the Conservatory concert series including the Hoch Chamber Music Series, Concerts at the OSilas Series, More Than Music Series, Musical Adventures Family Series. In 2021, she originated UNIQUE, a special learners music series in partnership with the Stamford Symphony Orchestra that brought the community together through the concert-going experience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Kathleen integrated and guided the Conservatory team with new techniques to achieve an innovative path including recording, broadcast performance, livestream, and remote delivery of educational music and art services.

The Conservatory’s mission reaches its potential because of Kathleen’s caring and dedicated leadership and the Milestone Award recognizes her tenure and continued enthusiastic spirit.

Founded in 1937, the National Guild for Community Arts Education is the sole national service organization for providers of community arts education. The National Guild serves over 400 organizations which span 46 states and a wide range of artistic disciplines, as well as the broader field.  To strengthen organizations and further advance community arts educators’ practice, the Guild offers learning opportunities and resources, leadership development, and connection with fellow practitioners. Its mission is to ensure all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education.

Concordia Conservatory’s mission is to inspire, instruct, and enrich lives through music offering  excellence in education and performance.