Susan J. Peters
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Peters, Susan J.

Susan J. Peters, a well-known Professor and Musical Director of the Theater Department at Binghamton University, where she worked for 40 years, passed away peacefully on October 18, 2013 at her home in Vestal, NY. Professor Peters was born in Binghamton, NY, in 1939, and was a graduate of Wellesley College and Harpur College (now Binghamton University). She was a lifelong resident of Broome County, although she spent many summers in Europe traveling and writing. As Musical Director, Professor Peters adapted and directed scores of theater productions for the stages at Binghamton University and also for the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, NY. In addition, Professor Peters collaborated on numerous original musicals, including the 1981 production Antics, the musical version of She Stoops to Conquer. Instructing hundreds of aspiring actors and actresses over the years, Professor Peters was especially proud of her Theater 101 Introduction to Musical Theater. She created and taught the course at Binghamton University, as well as a computer and synthesizer curriculum entitled Theater MIDI. Her Theater classes had as many as 1200 students enrolled at one time, and she continued to teach until illness forced her retirement last year. Professor Peters was also an exceptionally gifted concert pianist. Ms. Peters is survived by her mother, Evaline Multer; three sons, Eric, James and Jon Peters; two sisters, Mary Greene and Janet Christopher; three grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, and her long-time partner, Fred Mellert. While she wanted her memorial to be a private family affair, in her memory, Professor Peters would love to have her students, friends, and family sing a few show tunes now and then. Arrangements are with the Ernest H. Parsons Funeral Home 71 Main Street Binghamton NY. Please visit to offer your condolences.

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Published in Press & Sun-Bulletin on Oct. 30, 2013.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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25 entries
June 10, 2014
Sue and I wrote a most tuneful show together that was performed at the Cider Mill in 1981. She was a genius and a doll, two qualities infrequently paired.
Donald Jordan
January 5, 2014
Debbie Glann Louk Dec 9th 2012
I loved hearing her play at an old family reunion years ago. He talent was amazing to behold.
Deborah Glann Louk
November 29, 2013
Laurie Verni
November 26, 2013
Sue and I met many years ago while I was the floundering producer of Golden-Hall Productions. She saw me through some tough moments and truly encouraged my efforts to make the music "work". Dear, sweet unassuming Sue. Last time I spoke with her I needed her once again, at which time she told me she was ill. Rest in peace, Sue.
Sybil Goldenberg
November 14, 2013
One of my best experiences in Binghamton was in the theater 101 class, amazing memories and Sue made it so special...she will be missed!
Andrew Sindell
November 4, 2013
Sue was one of the most respected professors on campus, not simply because of her talent, wisdom, and impeccable ear, but because of her genuine compassion for her students and passion for her craft.

While it's been nearly 15 years since I was part of her Theatre 101 Repertoire Company, she still kept in touch. She remembered each member of each year's cast and bubbled over with pride for those that had kept a song in their heart.

Sue sure was special, and will surely be missed.
Marty Johnson
November 3, 2013
I met Susan when we were in 8th grade at West Junior & spent many hours at her home...her parents were so kind & loving to all her friends & made us all feel welcome. I spent hours with Susan as she sat playing her beloved piano & even accompanied her to her lessons with Dr. Britton who was also the music director at my church, West Presbyterian. Many years later she taught piano lessons to my oldest son. She was so very talented & shared her gifts generously & was a most special friend to me. She is now sharing her music with the angels. Rest in peace, Susan.
Barbara Ash Abissi
October 31, 2013
I'll never forget the day I walked into the Theatre Dept General Club meeting and said I could play piano and wanted to help -- she called me her Angel ... and I helped her out and had the most fun with her for the next 3 years! You will be missed, most definitely! Such an inspiration during my college years!
October 31, 2013
Sue Peter was my most memorable professor at Binghamton university. I had the honor of singing every week with her Rep. Company and even be the choreographer! She will always be remembered for her love of music and inspiration she gave to so many of her students.
Kerry Domanick (Knowles)
October 31, 2013
Thinking of Sue this week and sending my sincere condolences to her family. I am so sad to hear this news. It was such a privilege to get to sing every week with Sue's rep company and I have many great memories thanks to her classes and shows. I am so happy to have been one of her students and will always remember her. Thank you, Sue!
Jen Rubins
October 31, 2013
In 1988 or 1989, Sue was the first teacher to introduce me to the now-ubiquitous "Musical Instrument Digital Interface" (MIDI) in the university's amazing Theatre Department. Long story sort, Sue inspired me to declare a Theatre major and pursue a career in show business. Sue made the study of music, theater, and electronics fun, and from the voice of another late Binghamton Theatre Department professor George Wellwarth, "the meaning of life, dear friends, is to have fun."
Godspeed, dear mentor.
Robert Cotnoir
October 31, 2013
On behalf of Orlando Ciotoli and the entire family our deepest sympathy goes out to Susan's family. We all have fond memories and were graced with Susan's talent for many years and she was a contributing factor to success of The Cider Mill Playhouse.
Jim Ciotoli
October 31, 2013
Most people you meet in life make an appearance, as a minor character does in a chorus number, and leave just quickly enough to realize someone new is making his entrance. Then there are other people - main characters - whom you meet in your formative years, who alter the way you actually think. These characters don't show up often, but when they do, you're never the same again.

I first met Sue Peters as a freshman at SUNY-Binghamton in 1986. I was a completely untrained composer who had a 15-minute musical I'd created the year before. Sue got a hold of me, signed me up for an ‘independent study' with her, and started teaching me about telling stories. Over the next few months the story, along with the music and lyrics I wrote for it, also under her tutelage, grew to be an hour long. Up to this point I'd written the lyrics out, and used chord symbols as I was accustomed to doing, when Sue asked, “Do you want singers to perform this music?” “Of course,” I said. “Then you have to write out the melody in order for them to learn the tunes - and write out the piano part you're playing, too, while you're at it.” After what seemed like an eternity, I had completed the task, and brought the pages to her. Then she said, “Good. Now, do you want an orchestra to play your music?” “Of course,” I said. “Then you have to write out what you want them to play.” This also took a tremendous effort, including pulling a few all-nighters in her office at her piano (she even wrote me a note to give to the night custodian showing that I had permission to be there!). Finally I had a show - fraught with rookie mistakes and the like - but nonetheless an hour long show, which we performed in April. Now, 27 years later, I'm a published composer and public school music teacher. And I look back and marvel at Sue's dedication to her students; her willingness to go far beyond expectations and job descriptions. She loved theatre craft, and loved teaching about it just as much.

I never got back to Binghamton to let her know what a major influence she had on my life, as is so often the case in teaching. But every time I pick up my pencil to write, or sit down at the piano to teach a roomful of kids a song, I think of Sue, and the handful of other main characters who made an appearance on my stage.

Thank you Sue Peters. Good Mother, farewell.
Scott Nathan Louis (formerly Scott Cohen)
October 31, 2013
Sue musically directed me in PIPPIN during my last year at Binghamton (2005-06). I remember her warmth, laugh and constant smile. I looked forward to passing her in the halls of the Fine Arts Building and saying hello. She reminded me of one of my aunts, a very dear person, who was very close to my heart.

Lots of love to her close and extended family.

What a talented lady.
Dan Stroiman
October 30, 2013
I was her TA in Theater 101 for three years. She once said to me, "High Heels were made to oppress women." Loved her ever cluttered office! Great college memories with Sue.
Grace Chang
October 30, 2013
Stew and I send our deepest sympathy. Such a talented lady, with such a great sense of humor. What a legacy she leaves.
Dolly and Stewart Walls
October 30, 2013
Please accept my deepest sympathies and prayers. Sue took me on as a 15 year old pianist for the Cider Mill Playhouse Production of the Boyfriend. Then we spent 20 years playing in pits and rehearsing shows together. She was the greatest mentor and influence on my professional career. Sue taught me, mentored me and gave me the confidence to accept any challenge. She was an amazing mentor, and exceptional musician and one of the most talented people I have ever worked with. One of my greatest joys was recording the original "cassette tape" of her show Antics. I still have the cassette tape...younger ones don't know what that is:)We played in the first years of Christmas Carol together, and I will treasure the memories of how many things can two musicians play at one time. I have been blessed by working with Sue, and will forever treasure the memory of such an amazing and talented woman. God Bless you Sue. Love, Rene'
Rene' Tedesco-Schmidt
October 30, 2013
Man of La Mancha SUNY Binghamton 1991
I first met Sue in 1972 when I was in High School; Roberson Center had auditions for the musical The Golden Apple and I tried out for the chorus;
Luckily I later had four more opportunities to work with her; God bless you and yours; You were unique and brought happiness to many:
Tony Villecco
October 30, 2013
I had the privilege of covering for Sue last fall during her illness. I also worked with her as a student and later a fellow pit musician with her. She was the most wonderful and giving person to me. She afforded me more opportunities at the university than I could count. I love you Sue. May God hold you in the palm of His hand! Ti amo!!
October 30, 2013
A passionate educator and incredibly vibrant and can do personality. Had faith in my ability even when I didn't have it in myself. She was the musical director and conductor of the only 2 musicals I ever did and that was 30 years ago. Despite the distance of time I still remember her dedication, direction, coaching and coaxing to get a reluctant singer to perform in front of an audience. Binghamton has lost an institution
Bruce Friedman
October 30, 2013
A truly talented educator. Sue coached me in 8 shows in the late 70s and early 80s, and I remember her teachings and her humor to this day. My sincere condolences to her family.
Peter gorobetz
October 30, 2013
I never play in a pit orchestra without thinking about the one who got me started. Sue will be missed.
Amy Nichols
October 30, 2013
One of my favorite professors. A kind, caring, knowledgeable, and passionate person. She was truly one of a kind.
Jim Fowler
October 30, 2013
Please accept our deepest sympathies.
Phil & Mary Burkholder
October 30, 2013
Some of my happiest memories from when I first arrived at BU are working with Sue, first as one of her students, then as her TA for a number of years. In that time we become friends and shared a lot of laughs. She will be sorely missed.
Stephen Dell'Aversano
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