Oberlin, Ohio was where LeAundra Richardson was fortunate enough to grow up and discover her love for music. Richardson started taking piano lessons at age six and playing violin with her school orchestra in fifth grade at age ten. Excelling at the violin, in middle school, she was offered the opportunity to attend Baldwin Wallace University’s string camp. That was her first introduction to the school and she loved the campus and really liked many of the teachers she worked with. Richardson had grown to enjoy the violin so much that after a few years of playing, she stopped taking piano lessons and focused more on the violin. She continued to attend summer music camps at BW every year until she graduated high school, at which point she had already decided to attend the university.
When Richardson started at BW, she was a Music Education major, but it was something she had been questioning her passion for. She made a really great group of friends very early in her freshman year, one of whom was involved in the schools Arts Management program. Her friend would talk about her classes and Richardson thought they sounded great and became interested in the program. Richardson did not count it as coincidence that during the summer she had stage managed a musical (for the first time) at Oberlin’s community theater, The MAD* Factory. She hadn’t realized at the time how important that position was but it was because it was her first real introduction to Arts Management.
Richardson decided during her freshman year to pursue the program, switching her major in Music to a minor and majoring in Management. Though the change was a big one, she felt confident in her decision. Her music classes quickly changed to business classes, but she liked the change and enjoyed most of her new classes and professors. Music was still a large part of her life through her continuance with violin lessons and involvement in the symphony orchestra through her sophomore year.
Junior year she started taking on internships which allowed her less time for music lessons and rehearsals, but she learned so much about arts management through internships that she never would have learned sitting in a classroom or reading a textbook. She interned under Bill Rudman at The Musical Theater Project, Erika Haskell in the BW Conservatory Events Office, and Joyful Noise Neighborhood Music School under Sandra Goerz. These all led up to Richardson joining CPAC as the Marketing Intern, working under Valerie Schumacher. Each internship opportunity involved different responsibilities and taught Richardson something different. She was excited when asked late summer to continue at CPAC as the Arts Administration Fellow.
Though she works for CPAC by day, she spends her evenings and weekends practicing and performing music. She is involved in her churches worship band as a violinist, vocalist and guitarist. She also occasionally acts and plays violin in pits of shows when she finds the time.
Contact: (216) 575-0331, x132 or LeAundra [at] cultureforward.org
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