In the fall of 2008 LSU Alumna Dr. Patricia A. Martin passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 46. This morning’s recital was a tribute to her by fellow LSU clarinetists and students Victor Drescher, Mary Alice Druhan, Ben Redwine, Tia Perdomo Turner, and Jody Webb. The concert was open to all family, friends, and community members with over 150 in attendance including retired LSU Director of Bands Frank B. Wickes.
In addition to a spectrum of 20th century works, the program also featured recordings of Patty including the first movement of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces, the Rondo from Mozart’s Concerto, and the first movement of Bartok’s Contrasts. Especially unique to this memorial were the performances of the Sigma Alpha Iota Chorale sung by fellow SAI members as well as a vocal selection by Kerry Evenden. Every performer and piece had special meaning to Patty’s legacy. For example, Ben Redwine remembers how she always wore a jean jacket so he wore jeans today in her honor. Kerry Evenden, a fellow clarinetist and vocalist remembers how Patty would help pick up her spirits when she missed Mother England. Kerry was not able to be in attendance, but was here in spirit through her poignantly somber rendition of Don’t Explain by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog.
As Patty’s recordings were played, photos, letters, and stories were displayed on the screen and included fond memories about her. Particularly, Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verhder remembers that Patty would write her as an 8th grader asking about what it was like to be a female clarinetist in those days. She would later write to tell Dr. Ludewig-Verhder of her acceptance to Eastman and eventually request to study at Michigan State.
There is no doubt Dr. Martin was a brilliant performer and teacher. It is also evident that she was an exceptionally warm and loving person, always helping others and giving of herself. Although she is probably in heaven somewhere getting ready to play a gig with Johnny Dodds (the topic of her doctoral dissertation), her love of people, music and life will continue to live on.
–Notes by Senior Airman Jennifer M. Daffinee
Jennifer is a member of the United States Air Force Band of the West and is also finishing her DMA at the University of North Texas with Kimberly Cole Luevano.