The NMU Music Department made a special presentation at its holiday concert Thursday night to honor the memory of former physics department head Dave Lucas, who passed away in December 2015. The music faculty purchased a tabletop metallophone and attached a commemorative plaque. The percussion instrument will be used in the “physics of sound and music” course that Lucas created.
Members of Lucas’ family—chemistry instructor Marsha Lucas and two of their sons, Evan and Alex, joined physics head Dave Donovan and music’s Rob Engelhart for the presentation on the Reynolds Recital Hall stage.
“Dave Lucas was an accomplished musician and lover of music and the arts,” Engelhart said. “He played both rock and classical guitar and was also a drummer. He attended concerts, promoted the arts and passed on this passion to everyone he met. When Dave created [the course] in 2005, it was natural for him to invite his friends from the music faculty to provide class demonstrations on their various instruments, both to illustrate acoustical principles and to share with students his pleasure in music and music-making.
“For years to come, this instrument will be used for demonstrating acoustical qualities such as timbre and resonance, and for explaining specific music terms like scales, intervals and chords.”
Engelhart said Lucas’ musical talent lives on in his sons. Alex demonstrated that point by playing a selection in honor of his father.