January 07, 2021
Message from the Provost:

Dear Colleagues,

I write to inform you of the death of Dr. Cyrilla Barr, professor emerita and former head of the musicology division in the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, on January 1, 2021.

Cyrilla Patricia Barr was born on February 9, 1929 in Carroll, Iowa, the daughter of Ernest Melvin and Elizabeth Marie (Schumacher) Barr. She earned her Bachelor degree in Music Education from Viterbo College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin (1956), her Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1957), and her Ph.D from Catholic University (1965). She was an associate professor at Viterbo College from 1957-1961 and 1965-1974 before coming to Catholic University in 1976. She taught in the Rome School until 1999, when she retired and earned professor emerita status.

She was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy (1963-1964), the I. Tatti Fellowship to the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy (1974-1975), several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and, in 1990 and 1993, earned Catholic University's "Outstanding Teacher" award.

Professor Barr also held memberships and offices in The American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and the Sonneck Society.

She lectured widely in the United States and Europe on aspects of Italian medieval studies, women's studies, and twentieth-century music patronage, and was the author of books and of articles published in several scholarly journals.

Friends and colleagues in the Rome School remember Dr. Barr as an extraordinary, kind, and generous woman and a brilliant, impactful professor who trained generations of some of the nation's premier scholars and teachers.

Condolences may be sent to Dr. Barr's nephew, Michael Bayer, at the following address: 1311 E 11th St., Carroll, Iowa 51401.  The family is planning funeral services for the fall.

Aaron Dominguez, Ph.D.
The Catholic University of America