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Marshall Woodbridge Barron




Marshall Woodbridge Barron was born in Birmingham, AL on December 14, 1926 and died in New Haven, CT on January 17, 2024 at the age of 97.

She leaves three daughters, Phoebe Marshall Barron, Joan Sylvester Barron and Katherine Graydon Hesseltine (Steve), and one son, Peter Morgan Barron, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Marshall is predeceased by her youngest daughter, Jennifer Woodbridge Barron Southcott and her older sister, Nancy Graydon Langstaff.

Her mother, Elinor Graydon Woodbridge, was a piano teacher and recitalist. Her father, John Sylvester Woodbridge, was Comptroller of Pan American World Airways.

When Marshall was about six, the family moved to Lyme, CT where she and her sister attended a country school and Marshall began violin studies. Her greatest joy was wandering in the wilderness of fields and forests.

A 1945 high school graduate of The Putney School (Vermont), Marshall was drenched in music: chamber music, orchestra, and madrigals. She graduated from Vassar College in 1948 and received her Master’s Degree in music from Columbia Teachers College shortly after her marriage to James F. (Frank) Barron, Jr., an executive with United Fruit Company.

Music continued to be an essential part of her life – performing, teaching, composing, publishing, and editing volumes of viola da gamba technique and repertoire books.

Marshall published many volumes of her compositions as well as 3-part arrangements of hundreds of English Country Dance tunes. She also taught countless Dance Band Workshops across the US and in Canada.

An Honorary Life Member of the Country Dance and Song Society, Marshall began playing for English Country dances in 1950 with Phil Merrill in New York City. She also was on the staff at Early Music Week and English Dance Week at Pinewoods Camp in Plymouth, MA for decades.

Marshall taught violin in the Bedford and Mt. Kisco Public schools (NY) from 1968 to 1980. She joined the faculty at Neighborhood Music School in New Haven in 1981 where she taught violin, music theory and ensembles. Her most gratifying accomplishment at Neighborhood Music School was teaching the Never-too-Late (NTL) ensemble of brilliant adults returning to playing after a hiatus.

Marshall often performed in the Bach Lunch Concert Series with members of the Early Music faculty and helped host the popular English Country Dances. She was a longtime and frequent collaborator with Grace Feldman.

Marshall retired from teaching at NMS in 2020 at the age of 94.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Neighborhood Music School or to The Putney School.

A Celebration of Her Life will be April 13, 2024 at 2:00 in the Social Hall at the Unitarian Society of New Haven in Hamden, CT.

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