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Services for Audrey Davidson are Saturday at St. Luke's

June 15, 2006

Dr. Audrey J. Davidson, professor emerita of music at Western Michigan University, died June 11 at her home in Kalamazoo. She was 75.

Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 17, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo.

A WMU faculty member from 1965 until her retirement in 1999, Davidson was a renowned musicologist and expert on early music who helped build WMU's Congress on Medieval Studies to international stature.

She was the founder of the Society for Old Music, which performed under her direction for some 25 years. She was a frequent traveler to international conferences and workshops, in spite of being confined to a wheelchair because of a hereditary bone disease. She was an inveterate researcher in libraries in England, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Nearly every summer for 20 years, she was a "regular" at the British Library music reading room. In addition, she was an activist for the rights of the disabled.

Her numerous publications included a performing edition of Hildegard of Bingen's "Ordo Virtutum" which has been used as a basis for performances at Lincoln Center in New York, at Atlanta by the Atlanta Camerata, at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and at other locations. Her most recent book, "Olivier Messiaen and the Tristan Myth," was a study of the modern French composer and mystic.

A Minnesota native, Davidson attended Bethel College, St. Cloud State College and Wayne State University, where she earned both a bachelor's and master's degree. She earned a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.

Davidson's memberships included the Medieval Academy, the American Musicological Society, the Renaissance Society of America, the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, Vasa Satellite Lodge 661, the Askeladden Lodge of the Sons of Norway and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. She is survived by her husband, Clifford Davidson, WMU professor emeritus in medieval studies.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Audrey Davidson Early Music Endowment at WMU, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo or St. Gregory's Abbey, Three Rivers.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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