McCrory family establishes an endowment for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival

February 6, 2020

Martha McCrory with Cello

The Sewanee Summer Music Festival is one of the most venerable summer music institutes in the nation, preceded by the Cumberland Forest Festival. In 1963, Vice-Chancellor Edward McCrady tapped a young cellist of extraordinary abilities and wide-ranging talents to lead the Music Center, now the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. 

Her name was Martha McCrory, and for 42 years, she brilliantly led the program, establishing it as one of the nation’s premier orchestral training programs, greatly expanding its reputation at home and abroad. Martha also taught in the Music Department, leaving a lasting impact on students of the University along with generations of young musicians. 

In the summer of 2019, McCrory’s nieces, Cheri, Mary, and Martha, established the Martha McCrory Scholarship for the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. The largest endowment gift for the festival in over a decade, it will support scholarship funding for festival participants and allow for enhanced creative activities during the summer season. The principal cello chairs of both orchestras and the final concert of each season will be named in honor of McCrory. 

For more information about the endowment fund and the music festival, please visit