Prof Passes Away
By Wil Copps and Annie Kinniburgh
Dr. Patricia Norwood of the UMW Music Department passed away late Tuesday night at INOVA Hospital in Fairfax.
According to Dr. David Long, Chair of the Music Department, Norwood suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
A UMW faculty member since 1977, Norwood was a distinguished academic with a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Texas. She taught music history and literature, brass performance, and early music performance, but was especially knowledgeable in the area of medieval music.
She belonged to many musical societies, including the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Medieval Academy of America.
Norwood was also active in the community. In 2005 she received the J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award in recognition of her work as Music Department Chair and her involvement with campus committees such as Campus Academic Resources and the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Norwood also directed the Brass Ensemble and played with the university orchestra.
Her passion for music extended into the community as well. She played in the Fredericksburg Band, and when her son Kyle, a 2006 UNC-Wilmington graduate, attended a local high school, she was active in the Band Parents Association.
Music Professor Stephen Burton was a colleague of Norwood for 27 years.
“She was a consummate professional,” he said. “And she was absolutely sweet—I can’t think of anyone who would dislike her.”
“She was a wealth of musical knowledge,” said Michael Morley, Academic Secretary of the Music Department. “She always made everyone welcome and always gave of her time to students. And she was one of the most caring people I’ve ever known.”
Norwood’s students continue to show their appreciation and respect in wall posts on her Facebook page. A Facebook group has also been dedicated to her memory. The messages praise Norwood for her passion for her work and thank her for being an inspiration.
Norwood was teaching History of Music and Brass Ensemble this semester. Jim Baker, a former head of the Music Department, will be taking over at least one of her classes when he returns from conducting in Poland in two weeks.
For her students and colleagues, the suddenness of Norwood’s passing is additional cause for grief.
“I am sort of overwhelmed at this point,” said Dr. Martha Fickett of the Music Department. “Superficial as it may sound, I would say that she was truly a ‘class
“She was special not only to our department but to the whole community,” he said.