G. Wallace Woodworth '24 Dies Unexpectedly at 66


Professor G. Wallace Woodworth '24--known simply as "Woody" by the thousands of Harvard students to whom he gave musical guidance--died unexpectedly last Friday in Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He was 66 years old.

Throughout his 44 years on the Harvard faculty, Woody's prime concern was teaching music to the amateur. For years, at least 300 undergraduates annually enrolled in Music I, the introductory course he designed and taught specifically for the non-musician.

Hundreds of other students benefitted from Woody's guidance in the various University musical organization he led. Woody conducted the Harvard Glee Club for 25 years, led the Radcliffe Choral Society for 33 years, and was University organist and choirmaster for 18 years. In 1958, however, he resigned these positions in order to give full time to teaching outside.


Woody did not confine his musical labors to Harvard: he frequently appeared as a guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, gave musical lessons over the radio, and directed numerous musical groups in tours throughout the United States and Europe.


When conducting, Woody took delight in a wide range of repertory, with specialties in the Renaissance, the Golden Age of choral music, 20th Century contemporaries, and the classics of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Berlioz, and Brahms.


As an author, he won praise for his 1964 work, "The World of Music," of which one critic said, "Unique in its range of interest and informed approach, this incisive and stimulating book sets forth basic principles and provides a spirited and cogent examinations of the abuses and cogent examination of the abuses, issues, and opportunities of music in America today."

Woody graduated from Harvard with honors in history in 1924, and began his career if teaching and conducting in 1925. At his death, he was James Edward Ditson Professor of Music. During 1965-66, he served as Acting Master of Adams House.

A funeral service was held yesterday in Memorial Church. Dozens of former colleagues as well as numerous students who remembered the giant of Music I, attended.