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Virginia Mead

Virginia Hoge Mead

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Obituary

Virginia Hoge Mead was born into musical family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 31, 1930. Her maternal grandmother, Estella Hoge, a music major at Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania, played the piano and organ at church, even to the day before she died. Virginia’s mother, Sara, the oldest of Estella’s three daughters, and her sisters, Louise and Martha, played the violin and piano at after-dinner family musicales.

Virginia was the oldest granddaughter. Her parents, Sara and Gerald, lived in the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton. After beginning to take piano lessons at age seven, she developed a lifetime fascination with the sound of music. Young Virginia knew she wanted to be a music teacher. She would take her younger brother and some friends up to the attic. While using an old wind-up phonograph, she would play classical music on an old 33 1/3 RPM Record Player and explain what was happening in the music.

When Virginia was a high school junior, her mother, Sara, took her to an interview at Oberlin, her college choice. Oberlin, a highly selective private liberal arts college in Ohio, has a strong emphasis on performance. It is also known as the first institute of higher learning at admit both female and black students. Within weeks, Virginia received a letter saying that she was the first member of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Class of 1951. During her first week at Oberlin, the music students were given placement tests. Confident Virginia played a Beethoven piece. The ten faculty members determined she would perform a recital at graduation rather than write a normally required paper, which she agreed to do. She enjoyed all her classes but it was Dalcroze Eurhythmics, which teaches music through movement, that captivated her.

After receiving her Bachelor in Music Education Degree in 1951, Virginia began her career as a Music Teacher at her private girls’ school, Louisville Collegiate. She taught grades one through twelve for five years. She was named Assistant Director of the Louisville Philharmonics Chorus, and they sponsored her as a student to study choral conducting at the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Massachusetts Berkshires. She also directed the mixed Chorus and taught general music classes at Gary Indiana High School. Over the next few years, she taught elementary and secondary classes in public and private schools and at Muskingum College, Ohio. In 1963, she became an Assistant Professor at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, teaching Music education courses and Eurhythmics.

Virginia became licensed internationally to teach Dalcroze Eurhythmics in the late 1960s. She began to concentrate on Eurhythmics classes and presented one-day workshops at various colleges. When asked to define Eurhythmics, Virginia said, “The study of Eurhythmics develops the inner ear which makes us musically imaginative, which guides the hand that plays the instrument, the voice that sings, the body that moves, and further develops the ears that hear.”

The number of weekend workshops and summer courses Virginia offered throughout her career is extremely extensive. Twenty different prestigious universities reaped the benefits of her Eurhythmics knowledge, including Choral Conducting Department of Blossom Festival School of the Cleveland Orchestra. She was also responsible for introducing Dalcroze Eurhythmics to the People’s Republic of China in 1982 to students from ages nine to twenty along with their teachers. And somehow, Virginia found the time to get a Master of Music Education from Indiana University.

After spending twenty-five years teaching at Kent State University, Virginia retired in 1988 as a Full Professor but continued working with young children. She created a song and movement program based on the Dalcroze method for preschoolers and their parents called “Music-Go-Round.” She also had speaking engagements throughout the country, did private teaching in several communities and published two books entitled “Encountering the Fundamentals of Music” and Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Today’s Music Classroom.”

Virginia loved to travel and spent many summers traveling extensively throughout the United States and other countries. Memorable trips included Alaska, Jordan and Egypt, St. Peterburg, Russia, and Eastern Europe just after the Wall came down in Germany.

In 1997, Virginia moved to Texas to be close to her brother and his family. She built a new house and became active in the First United Methodist Church, Missouri City, where she sang in the choir, and often played the piano. In 2000, Virginia moved to “The Terrace”, now known as Brookdale First Colony, and was one of the first residents. She brought with her a lifetime of experiences as a Music Educator and Author. It was her passion for music and her willingness to share her musical knowledge with the other residents that has enriched their lives and affected their brains in many positive ways. Virginia was asked to offer a music appreciation class to residents and did so for ten years with enthusiastic audiences. About ten years ago, she began to concentrate more on her watercolor painting and creative handwork. Most recently, she had enjoyed doing silk ribbon embroidery.

The list of Virginia Mead’s many accomplishments goes on and on. Virginia was an extraordinary woman who spent her life imparting her love and knowledge of music to others. She was loved by so many people which was evident by the love she received recently on her 90th birthday this past January 31st. She was still so happy looking at all the cards she had received, reminiscing about all the parties, and remembering all the beautiful flowers she received. Virginia left to be with the lord on February 22, 2020 and she will be dearly missed.

A celebration of Virginia's life will be held at 10:00 am, on Friday, February 28th, at First United Methodist Church Missouri City, 3900 Lexington Blvd.

In lieu of usual remembrances, the family requests donations be made to one of the following: Kent State School of Music, 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent, OH, 44242 or visit https://www.kent.edu/music/support-us; Cottey College Scholarship Fund, 1000 West Austin Blvd, Nevada, MO 64772; or please send a check payable to Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607, noting in the memo line or a brief note that your gift is in memory of Virginia in support of Where Most Needed
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Service Details

  • Memorial Service

    Friday, February 28th, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Friday, February 28th, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    First United Methodist Church Missouri City
    Address
    3900 Lexington Blvd.
    Missouri City, Texas 77459
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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JW

Jan Wolf

Posted at 02:40pm
Ginny was my mentor and my professor at Kent State. She established a “music minor” for those of us majoring in elementary education. This allowed us to teach general music (grades k-8) in Ohio. I did that for 25+ years with enthusiasm and joy ! Ginny had a large role in helping me succeed! What a wonderful person! 🎶🎶❤️
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