Academic journal article Notes

William Lichtenwanger, Reference Librarian

Academic journal article Notes

William Lichtenwanger, Reference Librarian

Article excerpt

Readers of the second series of Notes are doubtless appreciative of the Herculean efforts of its editor of the early years, Richard S. Hill. But many may not be aware of the prodigious labors of Hill's longtime coeditors, William Lichtenwanger and Frank C. Campbell. Both toiled faithfully in the various subsections and interconnecting pathways of each issue of Notes. Each participated for more than seventeen consecutive years; that is, more than seventy consecutive issues. Lichtenwanger was the "guest editor" who wrote "Notes for Notes" when Hill could not, who became acting editor during Hill's final illness, who was editor for eight issues after Hill's death, simultaneously continuing his previous duties as associate editor. It was a killing task from which he sought relief. He resigned both aspects of the Notes work prior to the publication of vol. 20, no. 4 (Fall 1963). That issue carries his name as editor, but the unsigned "Notes for Notes" mentions "the regretted resignation of Bill Lichtenwanger." In fact, "Frank Campbell [associate editor] ... out of the goodness of his heart ... finished volume twenty of Notes." (1) Thereafter Lichtenwanger contributed infrequently to the journal, focusing his efforts on editing, the Henry Cowell catalog, the Star Spangled Banner research, and other projects.

William John Lichtenwanger was born in Asheville, North Carolina, 28 February 1915, the only child of John Matthew and Lelia Gertrude (Williams) Lichtenwanger. (2) His parents were originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, to which they returned when Bill (3) was two-and-a-half years old; his father worked as a bookkeeper. When the Depression hit Knoxville in 1930-31 his father lost his job, just as it was time for Bill's college years.

Paul Wentworth Matthews, Bill's high school music teacher, was very influential in Bill's musical education. Matthews took special interest in Bill and invited him to his house to hear records. Bill began the study of the clarinet at age thirteen. He played in both the high school orchestra and band--which was much better than that of the University of Tennessee, located in Knoxville. So the high school band played at the university's football games, both home and away. By the time he was a senior in high school Bill knew he wanted a career in music. He listened to the broadcast concerts from Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras, and later, the Metropolitan Opera. He requested brochures from the University of Michigan and Interlochen, and selected the university for his academic career.

To no avail! His parents were determined against a musical life. The plight of musicians during the Depression exacerbated their opposition. His father advocated a business career, perhaps as a certified public accountant. His mother favored preacher or medical missionary as suitable careers for her son. In the face of parental opposition to the University of Michigan, Bill was obliged to spend his freshman year at the hometown University of Tennessee, 1933-34.

Summer 1934 Bill played tennis all morning, then drank "gallons of liquids, even though I knew better, even then." (4) The combination caused a severe illness during which he became delirious at times. "While delirious he was so very vocal about how much he hated Tennessee and how much he wanted to go to the University of Michigan that his mother relented" and found a way to send him. (5) In 1928, her maternal aunt had left her a legacy of $30,000, of which only the interest on $20,000 could be spent. That was enough to get Bill to Ann Arbor the fall of 1934. (6)

In Ann Arbor Bill, who wanted to enroll in the musicology program, consulted Dr. Earl Moore, a professor in the School of Music, who advised he enroll in the undergraduate program in music education, "so you can get a job," and consider musicology later on the graduate level. The music education program required rudimentary skills on many instruments, which was quite easy for Bill. …

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