Ernest Mead

Ernest Campbell Mead, Jr.[1] (1918 in Richmond, VA – February 13, 2014)[2][3] was a professor of music and former chair of the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia.

Mead graduated from the University of Virginia in 1940 with a major in German language and literature.[4] While a student at the University, he was a member of the Virginia Glee Club[5] and a student of John Powell.[1] He went on to Harvard University to earn his Ph.D.[2] He returned to the University in 1953 as a professor.[4]

Mead's musical research focused on instrumental ensembles; his doctoral dissertation focused on the instrumental works of Girolamo Frescobaldi.[6]

As chairman of the McIntire School of Music in the University of Virginia College of Arts and Sciences, Mead was instrumental in securing donations to establish the U.Va. Music Library.[7] He also worked with University professor Walter Ross to re-establish a University orchestra in 1967, now called the Charlottesville and University Symphony Orchestra.[8] His office in the University's Old Cabell Hall was famous for its position "beneath the truth," that is, under the words "the truth" in the carving on the pediment, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."[9] He retired from active teaching in 1996.[10]

Since 1972 Mead taught a liberal arts seminar at the University, continuing into his retirement. Friends of Mead established the Mead Endowment to "continue his legacy of faculty-student interaction"[11] He was a recipient of numerous University awards, including the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the faculty awards of the IMP Society, Z Society, and Raven Society, and the University's Thomas Jefferson Award "for advancing, through his character, work, and personal example, the ideals and objectives for which Jefferson founded the University."[2] He received the Gilbert J. Sullivan Distinguished Service Award for his support of the Glee Club in 2010.


External linksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dabney, Virginius (1983). Mr. Jefferson's University. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. pp. 363. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Man". The Mead Foundation. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  3. @uvamusic (2014-02-13). ""Our beloved professor ..."". Twitter. . Retrieved 2014-02-13. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ford, Jane (2008-08-14). "'Mr. Mead's Liberal Arts Seminar' is the Stuff of Legend at the University of Virginia". UVA Today. 
  5. "Glee Club, 1930s". University of Virginia Visual History Collection. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  6. Mead, Ernest C. (1983). The instrumental ensemble canzonas of Girolamo Frescobaldi. Harvard University. 
  7. "History of the U.Va. Music Library". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  8. "Music Department Organizes University Orchestra". Cavalier Daily. 1967-09-27. 
  9. "Still the Lawn". A&S Online. 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  10. Moran, Meghan (2004-09-22). "The Footsteps of Boots...". Cavalier Daily. 
  11. Morenus, Kelly (2008-09-22). "Mead Funds Presented to 10 Professors". Cavalier Daily. 

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