MHC Community Mourns Music Professor's Death

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 15:36

Jacqueline Melnick, 80, professor emeritus of music and cofounding director of the Musicorda Summer String Festival, died November 22 in South Hadley of complications from cancer.

"Jackie" Melnick was born December 8, 1924, in Trenton, New Jersey. She grew up in the Trenton area and graduated from The Juilliard School of Music and from Teacher's College of Columbia University. She taught music theory at the Juilliard School of Music and later at Mount Holyoke from 1965 until her retirement in 1991.

She was also on the faculty of the Chautauqua Music Institute, the Brevard Music Center, and was a vocal coach at the Aspen Music Festival. While at Mount Holyoke, Jackie founded the Artists Recital Series, toured as pianist with the Glee Club, served as chair of the music department, and retired as Professor of Music on the Alumnae Foundation. In addition, she frequently toured Europe and North America, giving recitals with her second husband, the cellist Leopold Teraspulsky.

In 1986, Melnick and Teraspulsky founded the Musicorda Summer String Festival on the campus of Mount Holyoke. The festival provided intensive chamber music training and performance opportunities for the best young string players from around the world. Musicorda also gave the Pioneer Valley a world-class chamber music concert series for 18 years. Firmly committed to the idea that the best in musical performance should be available to all, regardless of economic circumstances, Melnick and Teraspulsky founded the Musicorda Road Company, where Musicorda students gave up to 30 concerts each summer for people who would not normally have had the chance to hear classical music. Melnick was also passionate about giving all young people a chance to study music. She was strongly in favor of need-based financial aid for the students at Musicorda, and additionally, in 1989, she founded the Children's String Workshop, bringing string instrument instruction back into the Holyoke public schools.

She is survived by her second husband "Terry" Teraspulsky, of South Hadley; three children, Ronald Melnick of Tucson, Arizona; Marjorie Melnick of Amherst, Massachusetts; and Susie Melnick, of Nyack, New York; six grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Her first husband, the pianist Herbert Melnick, died in 1963. Funeral services were held November 28 at Mount Holyoke College. A memorial service and concert is planned for February 2006.