Shirlene McMichael, longtime string orchestra teacher in the Pendleton School District, died at the age of 76 on January 4th in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ms. McMichael, or fondly known by her students as “Mac,” was recognized and highly regarded by many in the field for her outstanding string orchestras. Convinced that the “Suzuki Method” of violin playing would change the world of string teachers and performers, Shirlene McMichael became the second Suzuki instructor in the United States to bring this method into the public schools, which began in Pendleton in August of 1963. Throughout her 31-year career in Pendleton, she worked tirelessly with her school ensembles, bringing home multiple awards and honors throughout the United States while inspiring many string teachers in the country to see the benefits of Suzuki’s teachings.
“Mac” helped shape the lives of several students during her tenure. To her legacy, many former students that are current and retired string teachers, professional and non-professional performers, and clinicians throughout the United States and several countries survive her.
Burial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on January 11th, 2016, at Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery & Funeral Chapel, 1101 N.E. 112th Ave, Vancouver, WA 98684.