Susan Wingrove-Reed has played Principal Keyboard with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra for over thirty years. She fell in love with the piano after seeing Victor Borge perform and began lessons at the age of six with the indomitable Miss Pringle in Orlando, Florida. When her military father was transferred to Fort Richardson she began to play with the ASO as a 9th grader – covering harp parts as well as piano parts. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching at Indiana University. After several years with Young Audiences of Indiana, she returned home to Alaska in 1980 to work for Anchorage Opera and Alaska Repertory Theatre as an education specialist and pianist.
She began an arts education career with the Anchorage School District in 1984, teaching general music in preschool through high school levels then serving as Music Supervisor for seven years. She returned to the classroom to teach choral music and drama for seventeen years at Bartlett High School where she was a finalist for Alaska Teacher of the Year and retired in 2011.
Reed was the Anchorage Symphony soloist for Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Concerto. She is an annual accompanist for the Alaska All State High School Honor Choir, ASAA State Solo and Ensemble Festival and the Hiland Women’s Prison Orchestra. She performs with the Alaska Chamber Singers and many other Alaska school and community groups including the outstanding Romig and West Choirs.
She has been the resident music educator (pre-concert lectures and program notes) for the Sitka Summer Music Festival and for the Anchorage Symphony for thirty years, sharing stories about composers, their music and history. Reed was thrilled to become a staff pianist for the fabulous Sitka Fine Arts Camp in 2011 and plays with students and faculty for the Middle School, High School, and Musical Theatre sessions. She also does outreach performances with Zuill Bailey in Anchorage schools and this past year in Juneau, Sitka, Talkeetna, Nome and White Mountain. She was the recipient of an Alaska Governor’s Award for her contributions in arts education.