May 24, 2010
Iʼm sorry that I could not speak these words last month in the presence of Sue and all of you. My voice was too choked with emotion. With the following lines I would like to share with you just how important Susan Ranney is to me, and the impact she has had on my playing, on my career and on my life.
I began listening to the Chamber Orchestra in the mid 1970s (junior high & high school years) As a young bassist I was impressed by the quality of the sound and style that I heard from the bass section. I thought I had found the template from which to model my own playing.
A few years later, Sue joined the Orchestra. The first time I heard Sue’s sound, in a concert where she was the only bassist, I was floored. Her sound became my inspiration. I hoped that someday I would be able to play next to her in the orchestra. It took two auditions fifteen years apart, but for the past fourteen years as a member and a few more years before that as a sub, my wish has been a reality.
One of the proudest moments of my life (besides becoming a member of the Orchestra) took place at a reception after the first concert in which I played as a sub next to Sue. A number of Orchestra members approached me and told me how great Sue and I sounded, like we had been playing together for years. For only two bassists to blend as a section can be very difficult, if not impossible at times. To play with Sue for me is always a humbling, awe inspiring and profound pleasure. Her keen awareness of ensemble, her impeccable time, and her sound (that glorious sound!), has always kept me engaged. I will sorely miss her presence by my side.
Sue has been my teacher and my mentor. More than anyone else, she gave me opportunities which helped to establish my career in Los Angeles. She is my dear friend, and I am forever grateful for having her in my life.
In April, LACO’s longtime principal bass Susan Ranney announced that she would be retiring following our Jupiter concert. The musicians and staff threw her a party following the concert to say a fond farewell and wish her all the best for the future. Sue will be truly missed.