Susan Emmett Rahl founded Piedmont Choirs in 1982 as a boys choir when her son Emmett was a chorister and she felt there was a need for a children’s choir in the East Bay. Emmett had been singing under Bob Geary at the San Francisco Boys Chorus; after both Emmett and Bob had resigned, Suzie enlisted Bob to conduct a local boys choir. It grew from the original 22 boys to the large multi-faceted co-ed organization it is today. Suzie led the organization first as Board President, then as Executive Director before her retirement in 1999. She has continued her involvement in planning and leading the Ensemble touring program.
Suzie graduated from Stanford University and then received a master’s degree at Tufts University. After working as a teaching assistant at both the Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, she had her own management consulting business until her children arrived. Her three children, Emmett, Riva, and Marisa were all founding members of the Choirs. She resided in Piedmont for 35 years and now lives in Dallas, Texas and in Oakland with her husband Dick, a former USAF jet fighter pilot and a retired attorney.
Suzie has taken great joy in watching the choir grow in stature to become world renowned, but the best part for her, has been seeing the growth in the young people who have spent their formative years with the choir. Nothing brings her more pleasure than to see them blossom as young adults, many even coming back to the Choirs as camp staff, conductors, voice teachers, office assistants, and board members.