A pianist and former music critic for The Washington Post, Joanne Sheehy Hoover served as Levine’s Executive Director from 1980-1993.

As Levine’s first paid Director after its founding in 1976, Joanne quickly embraced the spirit of Levine created by the founders, Ruth Cogen, Diana Engel and Jackie Marlin.Joanne carried on their ambition to build a music school that would be home to top-flight musicians as well as beginners, accessible to those who could pay and those who could not, and to create a music center for learning and for performance.

During her time as Director, Joanne began Levine’s community outreach programs including partnerships with D.C. Public Schools and vastly expanded the diversity of Levine’s offerings. She oversaw Levine’s relocation from the basement of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church on Foxhall Road to the former dormitory of the Convent of the Good Shephard on 36th Street and ultimately the purchase of our permanent home on Upton Street.

Levine CEO Peter Jablow states, “We are so grateful for Joanne’s contributions to Levine which built the foundation for what Levine has become today and offer our heartfelt sympathy to her family and loved ones.”

After her time at Levine, Joanne relocated to Santa Fe, NM and was a music critic for the Albuquerque Journal and published five collections of her poetry. A memorial service will take place in late April.