William & Mary

Department Mourns the Loss of Mike Seeger and Horace Boyer

The Department of Music at the College of William and Mary mourns the loss of Mike Seeger and Horace Boyer, both of whom died recently (Mike on August 7, 2009, at age 75; Horace on July 21, 2009, age 73).  Horace BoyerMike and Horace were of the same generation, and each man was passionate about music.  Both were world-renowned performers and scholars--Mike of Anglo-American folk music (especially of the Southern highlands), and Horace of African-American gospel.  They also shared a passion for education, and each spent much time and energy insuring that these two great American musical traditions were passed on to subsequent generations.  Students and faculty members of our department (and Williamsburg community members) benefited greatly from numerous visits to campus and town by both of these inspiring performer/educators.  Both served, at different times, as Artists-in-Residence in our department.  Mike SeegerMike Seeger was an important component of our Virginia Music festival in Spring 2003 and worked closely with our Appalachian Music Ensemble. Horace, several years earlier, taught a course on gospel music and served as the Master of Ceremonies for our first Tidewater Gospel Festival during his tenure as Artist-in-Residence.  He returned to campus annually several times to participate as MC in subsequent festivals.  Finally, Mike and Horace were always friendly, considerate, and generous people. Both added immensely to the world of American music scholarship and performance, and we will miss them tremendously. We are better people for having known them.