Lynne Haggard Rumney ’90 died after a long struggle with cancer on July 7. She was one of PUO’s most vibrant members in my 37 years here, and left a huge footprint at Princeton. Lynne was a very fine violinist, and was concertmaster of PUO. She earned a Masters in Violin Performance at the Eastman School of Music after graduating in English cum laude. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
There are two reasons that Princeton music students, PUO and otherwise, should know about Lynne:
1) She was the inspiration for and co-organizer of the first PUO tour in 1990, in which we got on busses and played concerts in Chapel Hill, Georgetown and Baltimore– and had a wonderful time, so much so that we adopted the practice for good.
2) She was a leader in the powerful student movement that brought pressure on the Music Department and Princeton Administration to establish the certificate Program in Musical Performance in the Fall of 1990. Lynne’s quiet, well-reasoned but passionate persistence broke down decades-old barriers and prejudices about the place of music performance in a liberal arts context. She, and others, succeeded after interior faculty efforts came up short. I offer what she did as a model to all future generations of Princeton students trying to effect change. Student voices can make the biggest difference.
Going forward, one senior recital per year by a PUO member will be designated the Lynne Haggard Rumney ’90 Recital as a living memorial, in music-making, to this extraordinary person.