From Gwyn Richards, Dean:
It is with sadness that I report the unexpected and sudden death (Feb. 24) of the Early Music Institute’s esteemed colleague and baroque oboe teacher, Washington McClain.
Washington McClain was a former member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and principal oboist of l’Ensemble Arion (Montreal) and Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra (Cleveland, Ohio). He performed with many other baroque orchestras in the United States and in Canada. Washington was appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music (Baroque Oboe) in the Jacobs School of Music in 2001.
Professor McClain’s extensive teaching and performing experience in workshops and festivals in North America included The Amherst Early Music Festival, Albuquerque Baroque Music Festival, the Madison Early Music Festival, The International Baroque Institute at Longy (Boston), Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque (New Brunswick, Canada), The Staunton Music Festival (Virginia), and the Boston Early Music Festival. He was also the first period instrument performer to be featured in an article in Windplayer Magazine.
Professor McClain made recordings for Sony Classical Vivarte, ATMA Records, Analekta Records, and Centaur Records. One of McClain’s last recordings, of French baroque music by François Chauvon, a pupil of Couperin, issued on early-music.com (Montreal), is reviewed in the Spring 2013 issue of Early Music America magazine.
Wash, as he was known to his colleagues, was not only a brilliant musician and teacher but his unfailingly cheerful, sunny disposition and deep, hearty chuckle lightened most of the fleeting moments we spent with him, which makes his untimely passing all the harder to bear.
In the EMI, Wash was much loved by all of the faculty and he will be greatly missed.