The Washington McClain Scholarship Fund honors the memory of Baroque oboist and Amherst Early Music faculty member Washington McClain. It will fund scholarships for students who have historically been underrepresented in the early music field, including African-American, Latinx, and others. Awards will cover tuition, room and board, and travel and may be used for any in-person AEM event, particularly the Amherst Early Music Festival. To apply send a letter of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, with information about your interest in early music or dance.
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Washington Sebastian McClain (1961-2013) was born in Louisiana and received a BA in musicology and oboe performance from Northeast Louisiana University. He moved to Illinois to continue his studies, receiving a master in oboe performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. A specialist in Baroque and Classical oboes, he performed with many groups in the United States and Canada, including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), and l’Ensemble Arion (Montréal).
A dedicated teacher and performer, he made strong connections with students, colleagues, and audience members through his extraordinary musicianship and warmth. He was on the faculty of The Early Music Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, and taught at summer festivals, including the Albuquerque Baroque Double Reeds, the Madison Early Music Festival, the International Baroque Institute at Longy, Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque, and the Staunton Music Festival. He was the first period instrument performer to be featured in an article of Windplayer Magazine.
Washington recorded for the Sony Classical, ATMA, Analekta, Naxos, Centaur, and CBC Records labels. He lived in Windsor, Ontario (Canada).