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Herndon photo 
Malta field trip, December 1996
Marcia Herndon died peacefully in the early hours of May 19, 1997. She struggled courageously with lupus and-- more recently, with breast cancer-- inspiring students and colleagues with her optimism and determination to heal. On Saturday, May 24, past and current graduate students met in Marcia's home with Carolina Robertson and Billye Talmadge, Marcia's life partner. 

The many "Marcia stories" narrated that day attested to the ways in which she impacted those around her. [Editor's note: If you have a story about Marcia, please email it.] 

A public memorial service will be held in the University of Maryland Chapel on September 30, 1997, the day before Marcia's 56th birthday. 

Marcia was born in Canton, North Carolina, near the Cherokee community of her grandparents. After a career in organ and voice performance she pursued a Ph.D. in Anthropology/Ethnomusicology at Tulane University. She taught at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the University of Maryland faculty in 1990, she directed the Music Research Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Her scholarship helped shape the field of ethnomusicology, especially in the areas of performance ethnography, gender issues, and Native American studies. Marcia was also the Metropolitan (head bishop) of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of America, and was especially dedicated to ordaining gay and lesbian priests. 

She will be grieved and sorely missed in many communities. 

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