Santa Barbara Music Club


It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Joseph Richter and John Sonquist, both esteemed Santa Barbara Music Club members and performers. 

Joseph Richter, pianist, teacher, coach, arranger, composer/lyricist, penned 7 musicals produced off-Broadway, was arranger for the Steve Allen Tonight Show, and was musical director for numerous touring productions, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Sound of Music.  A Santa Barbara resident since 2001, he taught music at The Santa Barbara Charter School and was Choral Director at Cold Spring and Laguna Blanca Schools.  Joe was an enthusiastic Santa Barbara Music Club performer, presenting annual programs focusing on Broadway and Hollywood music, accompanied by personal reminiscences of his interactions with the composers. 

John Sonquist was very active on the board of the Santa Barbara Music Club, serving as treasurer for many years and frequently performing on Music Club concerts.  His taste in music was eclectic:  he was as comfortable playing music for contra dancing as he was playing classical chamber music.  After directing Computer Services at the University of Michigan in the ’60s, he was Professor of Sociology at UCSB for 21 years, designing a unique array of courses dealing with computer use and social impact, dubbed “Sonquist Tech,” ranging from computer simulations to artificial intelligence.  His key work in multivariate analysis is still used today.