Sanford (Sandy) Reuning is the director emeritus of Ithaca Talent Education School, a private music school devoted to the teaching methods and philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki. He was an adjunct Professor of Music at Ithaca College, where he led the masters degree program in Suzuki Pedagogy, a position now held by his daughter, Carrie Reuning-Hummel. He was the founder and director of the Ithaca Suzuki Institutes held each summer at Ithaca College.
Sandy graduated from the University of Illinois, where he studied violin with Homer Schmitt of the Walden Quartet, and with Paul Rolland. His studies continued at Ithaca College, The Eastman School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood (Lenox, MA), where he performed for a summer under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. He is a past president of the New York chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA); was chair of the violin committee for the ASTA String Syllabus; and is a past president and board member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Currently he serves on the Violin Committee of the Association.
Sandy’s association with the Suzuki Talent Education movement began in 1964 when he and his wife, Joan, attended a concert in Philadelphia given by Dr. Suzuki and his students from Japan. During visits to the United States between 1966 and 1969, Dr. Suzuki used students of Sandy and Joan in workshop demonstrations at the Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University. In 1974, Sandy visited and studied with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan, and he has made numerous return trips to Japan. He was on the faculty for the 1978 International Suzuki Conference in San Francisco and the 1999 International Suzuki Conference in Matsumoto, and was director of the “Friendship Concerts” (1978) tour of 100 Japanese and 100 American students, conducting performances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Atlanta’s Symphony Hall. He was chairman of the 1981 International Suzuki Conference in Amherst, MA.
Sandy has taught at workshops and institutes in over 22 states and 6 foreign countries. He has led tours abroad with the ITE Violin Ensemble to Israel (1982), Japan (1992), the Czech Republic & Italy (1994), Denmark (1997), and Mexico (2000), and the ensemble was one of four groups chosen to perform at the Association of the Americas Suzuki Teachers’ Conference in 1996 and 2008, and also chosen to perform for the American String Teachers Conference.
During his performing career, Sandy has been assistant concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and violinist with the Tri-Cities Opera (NY), Erie Philharmonic (PA), Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Wallenberg String Quartet. He was conductor of the Ithaca College String Orchestra, and a founder of the Binghamton (NY) Youth Symphony. He is actively involved in an ongoing project to train Suzuki teachers and students in Guanajuato, Mexico.