Violinist Betty MacDonald dies

Woodstock is grieving this morning for the loss of violinist Betty MacDonald. The Times Herald-Record reports that she died at home this morning after a brief period of hospice care:

Her friend and fellow Woodstock musician, Pete Levin, said Friday her condition had become an “unfortunate reality.”

“At the moment, the entire Woodstock music community is numb, for lack of a better term,” Levin wrote in an e-mail. “You can almost touch the sadness.”

MacDonald's website has a brief message about her death:

On behalf of the MacDonald Family, we want to thank you all for your stories, love and prayers.  Betty left us this morning at dawn.  She passed on in peace and tranquility.

To all the singers: We have appreciated your songs/music.

Betty's wishes are to have no funeral.  There will be a celebration of Betty's life in the future on a date to be announced.

MacDonald's death comes not long after the release of And Here's To You, an album she made in collaboration with the guitarist Joe Beck, who died of cancer two years ago. Here's Roll Magazine on the album that now stands as a memorial to both musicians:

Make no mistake, And Here’s to You is absolutely beautiful, with well-chosen standards like “Georgia on My Mind” and “My Funny Valentine” sitting naturally alongside Beck-MacDonald compositions like “Lullaby” and “And Here’s to You.”

If lines like “Tomorrow may never come” from “For All We Know” feel even more intimate than usual, it makes sense—And Here’s To You isn’t just the work of fellow musicians in total harmony; it’s a pure tribute in every sense.

Photo of MacDonald by Judy Glasel.