In Memoriam Steven M. Demorest

In Memoriam Steven M. Demorest

Steven M. Demorest (1959–2019) died peacefully at home on September 22 in Evanston, Illinois, with his family and loyal dog by his side. Demorest devoted his life to his career and his family. He had a sharp wit and loved travel and golf. He was a professor of music education at Northwestern University who had previously taught at the University of North Texas and the University of Washington.

Steven Demorest headshot

Throughout his life, Demorest tenaciously and honestly pursued the highest-quality research. He was driven by the belief that singing should not be reserved for a chosen few, but can be a communal way to celebrate, mourn, find joy, and express ourselves. He will be remembered by many through song.

“Steven Demorest was driven by the belief that singing should not be reserved for a chosen few, but can be a communal way to celebrate, mourn, find joy, and express ourselves.”

Demorest was a longtime member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). In service to the profession, Demorest wrote numerous articles for both general and research journals. He was part of editorial committees for such publications as the Journal of Research in Music Education and a frequent presenter at state and national music education conferences. Demorest authored and coauthored several of books on music teaching and learning, and was especially interested in choral subjects. 

In the words of his friend and colleague Ken Elpus, “Steve Demorest was an outstanding researcher, inspiring choral conductor, and a generous mentor—even to those of us who didn’t study with him directly. I will miss him, and our profession will miss him.”

Contributions in his memory can be made to the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in support of research and travel for graduate students in the Music Education program.

Adapted from a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Sept. 29, 2019.