In Memoriam

Glenda Dickerson, 1945–2012

Glenda Dickerson


Director, writer, folklorist, educator and actor—Glenda Dickerson was a multi-talented artist who shared her burgeoning talent and her passion for theatre with students at the University of Michigan for 14 years. She died January 12, 2012 after a brief illness.


A professor of theatre and drama at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance since 1997, Dickerson was also the director of U-M’s Center for World Performance Studies at Michigan’s International Institute from 2001–09. In addition, she was head of the African American minor in theatre studies and associate dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies from 1997–99. Prior to her career at Michigan, Dickerson was head of the Department of Drama and Dance at Atlanta’s Spelman College and taught at Rutgers University. She held a BFA degree from Howard University and was a recipient of its Fine Arts Alumni Award in 1988. She received her MA degree from Adelphi University in 1969.


Known for her dedication to promoting the success of women of color in the arts, Dickerson was the second African American woman to direct on Broadway (Reggae in 1980). Over the years, she directed productions at the Biltmore Theatre, Circle in the Square, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre and the Kennedy Center, among others. She conceived and/or adapted numerous vehicles for the stage from various dramatic and non-dramatic sources. In 2008, she published African American Theater: A Cultural Companion. In November 2011, she received U-M’s inaugural Shirley Verrett Award, which celebrated Dickerson for her dedication to promoting the success of women of color and for her commitment to diversity as part of the university’s mission. In April, Glenda Dickerson’s life and legacy was celebrated at a U-M memorial at the Arthur Miller Theatre and at a memorial at the National Black Theater in Harlem.



Yakov Kreizberg, 1959–2011

Photo credit: Marco Borgreve


One of the most successful orchestra conductors to have studied at U-M, Yakov Kreizberg died March 15, 2011, following a long illness. He was 51. At the time of his death he was chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Netherlands Chamber Orchestras. He had previously held posts with Germany’s Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach, England’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Komische Oper in Berlin, the Vienna Symphony and the L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. As guest conductor, he led many of the world’s great orchestras and opera companies.


Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Yakov Kreizberg studied conducting privately with Ilya A. Musin before emigrating to the United States in 1976. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at what is now Mannes College The New School For Music in New York. At U-M, where he studied for his doctorate in both orchestral and operatic conducting, he won the Eugene Ormandy Prize and studied with Gustav Meier. “It was Seiji Ozawa who sent Yakov to study at Michigan,” said Meier. “When I asked him to play a difficult part of Mozart's Magic Flute, he said that he did not feel comfortable to play from the piano reduction and could I please let him read from the full orchestral score. His incredible sight reading skill made him one of the most sought after accompanists, sight reading the most complex new pieces or transposing a difficult aria or concerto.” In 1986, Kreizberg won first prize in the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York. At U-M, he met his wife, Amy Andersson, also a conductor, who survives him along with his two sons.



Mary Jane Jacobi, 1927–2011

Mary Jane Jacobi with husband Roger Jacobi at Interlochen in 1986. (Photo courtesy of Interlochen Center for the Arts).


Mary Jane Jacobi, BM ’49 (music education), died last June at the age of 83. She was married for 62 years to former associate dean of SMTD and Professor Emeritus of Music, Roger Jacobi (BM ’48, MM ’51). As a U-M student, Mary Jane was the pianist for the University Choir and for the U-M Choral Union Society. She met her husband, then a trumpeter, when he spent a year in the University Choir to gain choral experience. They married in 1949 and both secured positions teaching in the Ann Arbor public schools. Mary Jane resigned upon the birth of their first child in 1953, but enjoyed an active life supporting Roger’s career both at U-M and as president of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The couple later retired to Naples, Florida. Mary Jane is survived by Roger, her son Richard, her daughter Martha and three grandchildren. 



Florence Cavender, 1925–2011

Florence Cavender, the wife of former director of bands George Cavender, passed away in December. The couple had been married for 50 years. George Cavender, who died in 2004, became assistant director of bands under William Revelli in 1952 and remained in that position for 19 years, taking over Revelli’s position as director from 1972–75. He was also director of the Michigan Marching Band from 1971 to 1979, when he retired. Florence Cavender is survived by her son David, her daughter Patricia Crick and four grandchildren.





Mary K. Chase, BM ’46 in violin, died February 20, 2012

Helen Garlington, MM ’48 in music education, died March 29, 2012

Hugo D. Marple, MM ’46 in music education, died March 15, 2012

Nancy J. Patton, BM ’49 in music literature, died November 1, 2011

John F. Shenaut, MM ’40 in violin, died December 2, 2011

Joan K. Southwick, MM ’46 and BM ’45 in piano, died February 9, 2011

Archie M. Thomas, MA ’42 in theatre, died February 21, 2012

Helen W. Varney, BM ’42 in violin, died December 11, 2011




Barbara L. Ferguson, BM ’52 in piano, died December 6, 2011

Robert A. Harris, MM ’52 and BM ’51 in music education, died December 26, 2011

Beverly W. Isaac, BA ’55 in music, died February 19, 2012

William H. King, MM ’50 in music education, died February 18, 2012

Emile J. Simonel, MM ’51 in viola, died March 13, 2012




Arlyn F. Fuerst, MM ’64 in organ, died December 26, 2011

Thomas Gaskill, clarinet, died January 9, 2012

Ronald P. Socciarelli, MM ’63 in music education, died February 2, 2012




Sara D. Chason, BM ’79 in voice, died December 7, 2011

Terry K. Gladstone, BM ’71 in music education, died November 6, 2011

Myles Mazur, MM ’70 and BM ’69 in music education, died June 25, 2011




Michael E. Clark, Ph.D ’86 in theatre, died January 1, 2012