To the Sound of the Beat

Richard Simpson ’07 combines music and ministry with muscle
by Katie Williard
Music motivates. From kids warming up on rec league gym floors to professional athletes playing for thousands, the music at a sporting event is often as electrifying as the action.

Richard Simpson ’07 and his business partners own that experience. At his gym — Get Fit, in Havre de Grace, Md. — Simpson and his team provide traditional fitness and boxing training, boot camps and kids programs. Now they’re adding something fresh and new: curated experiences that combine fitness, ministry and Simpson’s original music. Part performance, part workout, they present discipline and infectious positivity to audiences of all ages.

If you’d have asked him during his time at Bucknell — studying sociology and playing football — Simpson wouldn’t have predicted a career in music. Recruited as a wide receiver, he chose Bucknell because he wanted both academic and athletic achievement.

“I knew I would be held accountable,” Simpson says. “Bucknell prepared me to be disciplined … that translates to everything I do. My professors — Tracy [Elizabeth] Durden, Carl Milofsky — embodied that discipline, and they believed in our ability to make a positive impact.”

Richard Simpson in a collared shirt
Photo: Cara Hinton
“Anybody who made it has had that one person who really believed in them,” Richard Simpson ’07 shares. “That’s what we like to instill. We believe in you.”
Simpson always knew he wanted a career in service to others, but the path wasn’t always clear. His music, though, was constant. He penned his first song while in high school and remembers sitting in the back of the Sigfried Weis Music Building soaking in performances. “And I never stopped writing,” he says.

He describes his sound as gritty and relevant and his lyrics as family friendly and empowering. “I want my family to be able to listen to what I create, and to be proud to tell others about my music,” Simpson says.

Simpson’s efforts are gaining momentum. He and his team played a show in a local housing community, train the high school football team, and are partnering with the Scars Foundation — a nonprofit focused on raising mental health awareness and spearheaded by Havre de Grace native Sully Erna of the rock band Godsmack.

He has also made intentional efforts to engage his community in the creation of his second album, partnering with local producers and other artists. “I love that it’s growing organically in the community where I grew up,” he says. “It’s starting to bleed into each corner and make an impact for good.”