The life of Anne Dhu McLucas was cut short on September 8, 2012. Tragically, Prof. McLucas and her partner James Gillette were victims of a homicide. McLucas is survived by a son and grandchildren who live in Boston. A public memorial service in her honor is planned for 4 p.m., Saturday, October 20, 2012 in Beall Concert Hall.
Mclucas was a professor of music (emerita), specializing in ethnomusicology and musicology. She served as dean of the UO School of Music and Dance from 1992–2002.
She began her college studies at the University of Colorado. After two years as a language major, she took time off to study music at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria, where she completed a certificate in accompanying. Returning to the University of Colorado to complete her B.A. in Italian and German, McLucas was a professional accompanist at the School of Music there, accompanying such artists as Andor Toth and Aksel Schiøtz. She graduated Magna cum laude and was a Presidential Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa. She received both a Woodrow Wilson and a Danforth Foundation Fellowship for graduate study.
After one year of graduate work at the University of Southern California, she transferred to Harvard University, where she completed her master’s and Ph.D. in music and continued to perform harpsichord, piano, and fortepiano, with coaching by Alan Curtis and Gustav Leonhardt. While her performance career led in the direction of Baroque and Classic period chamber music, her musicological studies began to focus on the traditional folk music of Britain, Ireland, and America. After completing a master’s thesis on Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, she wrote her doctoral thesis on “The Concept of the Tune Family in British American Folk Song,” a topic she has returned to in an article for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and other publications.
Her teaching career has also included stints at Wellesley College (1974–80); Harvard (1979–85), Colorado College (1986–87), and Boston College (1987–92).
During these years McLucas developed a collaborative field experience at the Mescalero Apache reservation with Dr. Inés Talamantez, professor of religious studies at the University of Santa Barbara and a woman of Apache heritage, with whom she also wrote an article. Additional fieldwork experience was gained during a year of teaching at The Colorado College, where Professor McLucas taught a course on Native-American music of the Southwest. Additional research areas are music of the theater in Britain and America; and vocal music of Scotland and Ireland.
McLucas has served as president of the Sonneck Society for American Music (now the Society for American Music); as president of The College Music Society; council member for the Society for Ethnomusicology; chair of the Annual Program Committee for the American Musicological Society’s 50th Anniversary Meeting, and editorial board member for that organization’s journal. She was editor-in-chief of the College Music Symposium from 1993-96 and review editor for Ethnomusicology, 1990-93. She also was the local arrangements chair for a meeting of The Society for American Music in Eugene in 2003 and received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award in the same year.
She has received a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar award for research and teaching in Scotland in 2003 and two grants from the NEH for her research and fieldwork, as well as an NEH Institute held in 1992. She has published four books and numerous articles. Recent publications include The Song Repertoire of Amelia and Jane Harris, co-authored with Emily Lyle and Kaye McAlpine, and her most recent: The Musical Ear: Oral Tradition in the USA (Ashgate.com), in which she explores neuro-scientific and psychological as well as ethnomusicological insights into the oral repertoire of American music.