Dear members of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music community,
We recently learned that longtime Conservatory faculty member Robert (Bob) Honeysucker unexpectedly passed away over the weekend at the age of 74. This news has left us with heavy hearts as we mourn the passing of a dear colleague, teacher, and friend.
Bob joined the Boston Conservatory voice faculty in 1981, and also served on the faculty of Longy School of Music. He was an active performer of opera, oratorio, and concert music, and gave recitals all over the world, including Japan, where he frequently performed with his wife, pianist Noriko Yasuda. He was a member of Videmus, as well as the cofounder of the Jubilee Trio, a group that presents rarely performed American art songs by African American composers.
Bob’s distinctly rich, warm voice and brilliant musical interpretations garnered him international acclaim throughout his career. Among his many recognitions, he received the New England Opera Club Jacopo Peri Award, was selected as the first member of the Tougaloo College National Alumni Association Hall of Fame in Music, was named Musician of the Year by the Boston Globe, was honored with a National Opera Association Artists Award, and was the first person to receive the Distinguished Artist Alumni Award in Music from Miami University (Ohio).
Bob’s generosity and compassion left an impression on all who had the pleasure of knowing him. The outpouring of stories and fond memories from students around the world reminds us of how far-reaching Bob’s influence is felt, both as a performer and as the warmhearted friend and mentor that he was. In particular, he was a role model and advocate for students of color who found inspiration and strength in Bob’s assurances that they could, indeed, achieve their dreams.
Much of Bob’s work as an artist was informed by his involvement in the civil rights movement. Many alumni have written touching notes recalling how Bob’s recountings of his early life in the movement and his relationships with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers woke them up to a reality they had not fully appreciated, and that hearing Bob sing changed their idea of what their own music-making could be. His sincerity and honesty will be remembered by all.
A memorial service for Bob will be held this Saturday, October 14, at 11:00 a.m. at All Saints Parish, located at 1773 Beacon Street in Brookline, Massachusetts. The service is open to the public, and all wishing to pay their respects are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to All Saints Church in Brookline.
We invite you to share your stories and memories of Bob in the comments below.
Chair of Voice
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Vice President of Academic Affairs
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
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