Obituary posted by : Diana Kodner Gokce , Long-time friend
Jeffrey Wasson died Monday, January 4, 2010 in Evanston. Dr. Wasson, who was a professor in the school of music at DePaul University, was a three-time graduate of Northwestern University, having received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Music and the Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate School. Prior to moving to DePaul, he taught for seventeen years at Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois and at Northwestern University where his classes were popular and his students held him in high esteem.
Working with Aaron Parsons, he wrote program notes for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival. He served as the Director of Music at Saint Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago, and was for many years the director of music at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in Skokie. He was awarded three National Endowment of the Humanities grants, the most recent in the summer of 2000 at Boston University. He was one of the editors of, and has an article in A Compendium of American Musicology: Essays in Honor of John F. Ohl (Northwestern University Press, 2001). Dr. Wasson had seven articles in the reference work Readers Guide to Music History and Theory and 25 articles in The Hymnal 1982 Companion (Episcopal). He was a director on the boards of many musical organizations, including New Music Chicago, The Mozart Sinfonia, and most recently, president of Ars Musica Chicago.
Dr. Wasson gave scholarly lectures and presentations at Boston University: Brandeis University: DePaul University; Leuven University (Belgium); Loyola University, Chicago; Michigan State University; Northwestern University; Yale University; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; University of Nebraska; University of Pittsburgh; and for the American Guild of Organist; the American Musicological Society, and the International Musicological Society. Some professional memberships included: the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy Awards organization); the College Music Society; the International Musicological Society; and Phi Kappa Lambda. His had research interests and pursuits in most of the historical eras of music, including Gregorian Chant; The Analysis of Pre-tonal Polyphony; The Borrowing Processes in J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel; Charles Ives and the Pioneer American Composers (Carl Ruggles, Henry Cowell, Charles Seeger, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Wallingford Riegger, John J. Becker, and Elliott Carter) and History of Music of the Dance. Unusual areas of teaching expertise include: Aesthetics, Popular Music (19th century, Jazz, the Broadway musical, Rock and Roll), music as literature, and music and literature.
His mother, father, and only brother preceded him in death. Mother, Hilda Crowell Wasson, retired in 1991 as professor and former head of the marketing department at Depaul University, where she was the first female chairperson in the College of Commerce. Brother, Donald Lynn Wasson, was an attorney and accountant. During the Vietnam War he was an Air Force pilot who flew 430 combat missions in an F4 fighter. He held the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. Jeffrey is survived by many loving friends.