About the curator
Mary Prendergast has been the Assistant Music Librarian in the University's
Music Library since 1999. She has a B.A. in Music History and Theory
(1979) from the University of Pennsylvania, and after some years
spent teaching piano, accompanying church choirs, and working as
a library paraprofessional, she received a Master of Library Science
from Syracuse University in 1998.
Prendergast credits her parents with instilling in her a lifelong
love of music. They still own and operate the music conservatory
in southern New Jersey where she studied in her youth (with varying
degrees of rigor and aptitude) piano, voice, clarinet, violin, and
dance. She has been active in church choirs, community choruses,
and theater groups for over 20 years.
"Lift Every Voice" was motivated by the curator's enthusiasm for
vocal music and her desire to become better acquainted with the
library's strong collections of American vernacular music, which
provided the geographic focus for the exhibition.