Jane Birkhead died January 20, 2005, at her home in Jefferson Towers, in Syracuse, New York. She was a music educator and a singer who pursued a career of six decades in Iowa, Oklahoma, and New York City. Ms. Birkhead studied singing with several American teachers and with the great Austrian/German soprano, Lotte Lehmann, and she was also coached by Fritz Lehmann. She sang in concert and musical theater throughout the Midwest. She was a professor of music and musical theater at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) and Oklahoma (Norman). She sent her graduating students to teach at other universities in states including Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida, California, Colorado, and Missouri. Other students sang at theaters in New York City and other cities. Her greatest love was for the Lieder of Bach, Wolf, and Schubert. She developed that love under Lehmann and passed it on to her students. She was especially proud of them and their many accomplishments. Ms Birkhead was born in Holden, Missouri, on February 1, 1916, and was educated in the public schools in Jefferson City, Missouri. She graduated from Christian College with an A. A. degree and from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's and a master's degree. She is survived by her brother, Guthrie S. Birkhead, Maxwell School, and three nephews, Guthrie, Richard, and Evan and their children. Services will be private. Contributions may be made to Hospice of CNY, 990 Seventh North Street, Liverpool, New York 13088 and the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 401, New York, New York 10018.
Copyright Waterloo Courier, January 23, 2005, page C7.