School of Music Plans Memorial Concerts for Judith Lapple

Posted: September 9, 2010 at 1:05 am, Last Updated: September 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm

By Catherine Ferraro

Mason’s School of Music will hold two special memorial concerts to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the late Judith Lapple, professor of flute. Lapple died peacefully in her sleep in August 2010. She was 56 years old.

The first tribute concert will take place during the annual All-Steinway School Celebration and piano scholarship concert. This event will be held in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for seniors; and free for students.

As part of the concert program, flutist Jennifer Lapple, Judith’s daughter, will join Linda Apple Monson, associate director for academic affairs for the School of Music and director of keyboard studies, for a special tribute to Lapple in a work by American composer Melvin Lauf titled “Portrait of a Dream.” Monson and Judith and Jennifer Lapple performed this work during their trip to Nanjing Normal University in China in July.

A second memorial concert will take place on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m. in the de Laski Performing Arts Building, Room 3001. Colleagues, students, alumni, faculty and friends are invited to remember Lapple, who served on the Mason faculty for 16 years.

The memorial will include a gathering of current and former flute students from Mason and the surrounding community to present a group flute choir in tribute to Lapple. In addition, Jennifer Lapple and Monson will perform a musical tribute on a Steinway D concert grand piano that will bear a plaque in honor of Lapple.

Lapple joined the university in 1994 as an adjunct associate professor and was later promoted to adjunct professor and then to professor of flute.

According to her colleagues, Lapple exuded a passion for music and constantly challenged herself and others to achieve at the highest level. Lapple was an inspiration to her students, they say, and her amazing spirit lives on in the many lives she touched.

“I grew to know and love Judy as a long-time colleague, respected artist teacher and beloved friend,” says Dennis Layendecker, director of the School of Music. “As a young U.S. Air Force officer, I came to know Judy’s wonderful artistry and character, and I was honored to work in her company once again here at Mason.”

“I am certain that those of us who knew her well would agree as to the singular privilege it was to share the grace of her personal presence.”

During her time at the university, Lapple founded and directed the Summer Woodwind Camp and Flutopia Ensemble. In addition, she served as Woodwinds Area Coordinator, directed the George Mason University Flute Choir and taught courses in woodwinds pedagogy. She also privately taught a large number of woodwind students.

As a professional flutist, Lapple traveled extensively to perform throughout the United States and Europe and give numerous clinics for colleges and universities. She also appeared on the cover of Flute Talk magazine and wrote several articles on performance anxiety.

The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras honored her in 2003 for her untiring work in preparing the young musicians of the United States.

Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Lapple received a bachelor’s degree from Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University. Before joining Mason, she was the principal flutist for the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C.

Lapple is survived by her husband, William Kaschak; four daughters, Jennifer, Megan, Alex and Jacquie Lapple; two stepdaughters, Amanda and Caroline Kaschak; and a stepson, Derek Kaschak.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Judith Lapple Memorial Scholarship Fund established through the George Mason University Foundation.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu