Kentucky State University will begin the new academic year in August without faculty member Dr. Leon Richard, who recently passed away in Tennessee. Richard was a longtime Professor of Music in KSU’s Division of Fine Arts.

“Dr. Richard was an outstanding instructor who taught his students the importance of excellence in technique and performance,” said KSU President Raymond M. Burse. “He will be sorely missed for his contributions to KSU and the community as an educator and performer.

Richard had taught brass performance at KSU since 1977. He was also an adviser to the widely sought-after Gospel Ensemble, a KSU student musical group which has performed before numerous audiences across the country including at Kentucky gubernatorial inaugurations and legislative events.

As an accomplished musician, Richard was a member of the Lexington Symphony Orchestra for more than 35 years, one of the longest tenured musicians in the orchestra. He was a member of the Chicago Civic, Skokie Valley Symphony, Nashville Symphony and Nashville University orchestras as well.

Richard also played solo trumpet and in ensembles at numerous special events, including at concerts, festivals, celebrations, college programs and church services.

In addition, Richard was well known in the Frankfort arts community for his involvement with the Frankfort Arts Foundation, serving as its president for eight years.

The longtime KSU professor earned the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Memphis. He received the Master of Music Degree from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and the Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from Tennessee State University.