franya berkman

Last Saturday, I attended a memorial service for a Lewis & Clark College music professor, Franya Berkman, who died at age 43 on August 26. It was the first of three such services this month, all involving beloved figures in the state’s world music community. This Saturday, August 6 at 5:30 pm, the same venue, Agnes Flanagan Chapel on the L&C campus, will host a similar public remembrance of the life of Obo Addy, the Ghanaian drummer, composer, teacher and L&C prof who died September 13. Berkman was completing a book about Addy when she died.

On Sunday, October 7th, a Buddhist memorial for Addy will be held at Oregon Buddhist Center, 17555 Bryant Rd. In Portland. And on October 20, the University of Oregon will honor the life and work of the former dean of its School of Music and Dance, Anne Dhu McLucas, who was killed September 8, at a public memorial service at at 4 p.m. in Beall Concert Hall at the MarAbel B. Frohnmayer Music Building, 961 E. 18th Ave., on the UO campus. Like Berkman, McLucas was an ethnomusicologist.

The sad coincidence of the passing of three figures so critical to increasing our understanding of the role of music in many cultures, including America’s, has occasioned much grief, of course, but remembering them also reminds us how much they broadened our horizons. I’ve written about Addy’s legacy, which includes not just his glorious music but also the Obo Addy Legacy Project (formerly known as Homowo) that has brought world music to thousands of Oregonians. Here are some memories of Berkman and McLucas from their friends and colleagues.

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