Lee McRae Memorial Concert Set for September 23 in Berkeley

The Memorial Concert for Lee McRae has been confirmed for Saturday September 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue in Berkeley. All are welcome. Admission is free.

The afternoon will be a celebration and commemoration of Lee’s pioneering work in many areas of education, music, and social activism. These include Lee’s lifelong work for peace, and the teaching of non-violence, especially to children; her co-founding of Berkeley’s Walden School, whose focus is on non-violence and the creative arts; her participation in the development of SFEMS and the Berkeley Festival; her work helping establish Philhamonia Baroque Orchestra; her founding of the Singers’ Retreat and SFEMS Music Discovery Workshop; her projects with the Viola da Gamba Society and Early Music America; and her work as an artist manager for such notables as Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, and Anner Bylsma. Read more about Lee’s remarkable life and work here.

Among the many musical contributors to the concert will be Lee’s medieval choir, Coro Ciconia, under the direction of Asher Davison, who will sing selections from Ockeghem’s Missa pro defunctis. Harry Gray, music teacher from the Walden School, will honor Lee by leading the school’s children in a work by Frances Blaker. Youth Collegium students from the Music Discovery Workshop will participate. There will be performances by William Mahrt and the Singers’ Retreat, a gamba consort, and a recorder quartet featuring Vicky Beckman, Melissa Cocco, Eva Legêne, and Astrid Andersson (Eva’s daughter who knew Lee for many years). Other performers will include harpsichordists Yuko Tanaka and Hanneke Van Proosdij, gambist Lynn Tetenbaum, flutist Kathleen Kraft, and violinist Lisa Grodin.

Monday, August 28, is the final day to submit proposals for all interested in performing. If any suggestions have been overlooked, or if you have more ideas for this concert, they are most welcome! Please send all proposals to Eva Legêne at elegene@indiana.edu. Eva intends to put together the final program by September 8.

Eva and Lee’s daughters thank Lee’s many friends and musical colleagues who want to honor her in this Memorial Concert. For our part, SFEMS is deeply grateful to Eva, who envisaged the event, initiated it, and worked tirelessly with Lee’s family, friends, and colleagues to bring it to fruition. We hope to see you many of you there on September 23rd.