Danlee Mitchell was destined to live a life of music. Raised by parents who were both accomplished musicians, he began his music studies at a very early age. His life took a strange and wonderful turn when he attended the University of Illinois in 1959 and met Harry Partch. That began a long and wonderful collaboration that lasted until Partch’s death in 1977. Danlee was caretaker of the famous Partch Instrument Collection and conductor for many of Partch’s works. He went on to have a successful career as a professor of music at San Diego State, developing the ethnomusicological program at SDSU through extensive field study and subsequent incorporation of those studies into the SDSU music program’s curriculum at every level until he retired in 2001.
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