Remembering Richard Daquioag

March 17, 2021

By Sylvia Sherman, Program Director

In February, CMC lost a friend and colleague. Richard Daquioag, who was a CMC alum, concert hall manager, and most recently treasured accompanist for three of CMC’s Older Adult Choirs: the Aquatic Park, OMI, and Richmond District choirs, died peacefully in his Oakland home in the arms of his partner of 35 years.

Richard is remembered fondly for his love of music, his curiosity for diverse styles of music, and his commitment to working with the community. In his roles as an older adult choir accompanist and concert hall manager, he was kind, patient and friendly with students and performers with whom he came in contact. Richard is missed! Faculty, staff, and students shared memories of Richard below. Read his obituary here. Feel free to email Anne if you have memories to add.

This was very hard news to get. I know it has been hard for the many choir members that he became close with as well. Richard made each choir class feel like a music party with his upbeat, fun loving presence. And after the party he was that friend who listened intently to whatever was going on in your life, and always sent you on your way with the most concise, thoughtful bit of wisdom. When he played the piano in class there would inevitably be some moment that was just so ear catching and uniquely beautiful. I would often ask him what he did to make it happen, and he always had time to share his process and musical knowledge. Sometimes however, it was unexplainable, and just the magic of music pouring out of him. I feel so lucky to have witnessed these moments. I have learned so much from Richard over the years about life and music. I’m going to miss him dearly.

We have lost an ‘essential worker’ in Richard’s passing.  He was a dear dear friend of CMC and his kindness at the front desk welcomed students with a bright smile. While being concert manager, he not only moved chairs in the hall, but greeted young students with verbal encouragement, which extended to the few times I was privileged to be under his ‘managing’ before performances. I received winks, and high 5’s and especially his knowing hands of a shoulder massage blessing before I went on stage. Sometimes I could hear Buddhist words being whispered as well! Richard was initiated into the SF Zen Center as a lay priest. Sometimes we would share our Buddhist moments at CMC, which are some of my cherished memories of dear Richard. I do miss his passionate piano jazz licks with a Latin kick. R.I.P. Richard!

It makes me very sad to hear about the passing of Richard Daquoiag, the coolest guy! What a loss! He was the impersonation of the CMC hero: a real community builder, a creative spirit with music in his blood, and a compassionate and generous person. I always enjoyed having him around. He always made insightful contributions to the conversation. He was part of my CMC ensemble, Potingue, at the end of the nineties and the beginning of the century (PICTURE BELOW). And, in the years after, he supported Potingue’s concerts as concert manager. I have very fun memories of him. I don’t know much about his personal story, but I am sure it was an interesting one. My sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to all of us in the CMC community.

Richard with Potingue 2000


It was a bright part of Tuesdays here at RDB when Richard would arrive to accompany the Older Adult Choir.  Joyous sounds came from the Grand Piano Room when he played.

I was greatly saddened by the news of Richard’s death. I will always remember him as an outstanding concert hall manager, talented musician, and caring friend. His compassion, love of music, and dedication to others was always evident as he went about his daily activities with patience, good humor, and kindness to everyone. He will be sorely missed.

So sad to hear this…Richard was a sweet man and I am honored to have known and worked with him. My heart goes out to his partner, his family and friends, and to Beth. 

He lived such a beautiful life. His obituary is moving. I remember Richard through the devotion of the Older Adult Choir members who absolutely adored him. It’s quite a thing to bring joy and happiness to others. 

Older Adult Choir Member memories:

People shared fond memories of Richard’s last performance with the choir, when he played for their Christmas concert and surprised them by singing at the end!

One choir member remembers Richard being very down to earth and always 100% present when talking.

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2019. Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir. Photo: Judy Rosenfeld

Another choir member remembers talking about jazz of the old days – on the 19 bus after choir session. Others recounted what a joy it was to hear Richard  accompany one of the choir members during the session break on two favorite songs in particular “I’ll be Around” and “Again.”

Several choir members went to see Richard play in different clubs – and remarked on what a great performer he was and how he got people to sing with his trio!