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Swoboda, Marian J.; Roberts, Audrey J. / Wisconsin women, graduate school, and the professions

Sylvander, Carolyn
Chapter 8: Women in the school of music,   pp. 75-78

Page 76

The two women hired between 1920 and 1945 were both hired as in-
structors. Margaret Cooper has remained on the staff since 1937 as a one-
fourth instructor. Helene Blotz was hired in 1930 as an instructor and was
promoted in 1946 to assistant professor, in which rank she remained until
leaving the staff in 1956.
Most of the women hired after 1945 were hired in a new rank, lecturer,
which effectively replaced the rank of instructor. Two women were hired at
this rank in 1948-49, for one semester and one-year appointments. Between
1960 and 1974, eight more women were hired at the lecturer rank, and an
additional four were hired as visiting lecturers. Also between 1960 and 1974,
one woman was hired as a specialist, and one as a visiting assistant professor.
None of these women remained on the school of music staff in 1976-77.
In non-permanent, but higher ranks, four women were hired as visiting
professors or Brittingham Professors between 1960 and 1974. One of these,
Eva Badura-Skoda, moved from guest professor to professor in 1966, and re-
mained on the staff of the school of music until 1974.
Apart from a woman hired as an acting instructor part-time for the
1956-57 school year, those women who were hired between 1945 and 1974
as instructors rather than lecturers have subsequently been promoted and
main on the staff. Three women - Tait Barrows, hired in 1955, Jeanette
Ross, hired in 1957, and Ellen Burmeister, hired in 1962 as instructors -
have since been promoted to associate professor: Barrows in 1971, Ross in
1968, and Burmeister in 1970. With the exception of one person hired as an
assistant professor in 1969, who left the staff in 1975, and one person who
remained on staff from 1945 to 1967 as assistant and associate professor,
women hired as assistant professors between 1945 and 1974 - a total of
four - remain on the staff.
No women have been hired at the associate professor rank and only one
woman has been hired at the full professor rank, Eunice Boardman Meske, in
1975. In addition to Meske and Eva Badura-Skoda, mentioned previously,
only two women have become full professors in the UW-Madison school of
music, Bettina Bjorksten and Ilona Kombrink. Both were promoted to profes-
sor in 1976.
Three outstanding women were hired for one semester and one-year
periods in the 1960s as visiting faculty. Alice Ehlers was appointed Brit-
tingham Professor of Music for the first semester of 1961-62. A Viennese
harpsichordist who made her American debut in New York in 1936 after suc-
cessful tours of Europe, Egypt, Palestine, and South America, Ehlers gave
tures and recitals on the UW-Madison campus as well as giving individual
master-class instruction on the harpsichord and teaching a seminar in in-
terpretation. Mary Rasmussen was brought to the UW-Madison campus in
1963-66 as visiting lecturer. Editor of the Brass Quarterly since 1957, re-
search bibliographer for the Harvard music library, and consulting expert
the Smithsonian Institution since 1962, Rasmussen taught courses in the
symphony and in, brass and woodwind literature while in Madison. Solange
Corbin was hired as a visiting professor for the second semester of 1968-69.
A French scholar in medieval music, Corbin taught seminars in notation and
Gregorian chant at UW-Madison.
In 1930 and 1945, two women who contributed many years of service to
the UW were hired. Helene Blotz, hired as instructor in 1930 at a salary

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