Honoring Flutist, Composer, and Educator: Katherine Hoover

In honor of what would have been her eighty-first birthday this month, we would like to pay tribute to Margaret’s beloved flute teacher, Katherine Hoover.unnamed

Ms. Hoover was born on December 2nd, 1937 in West Virginia and grew up in the Philadelphia area. She studied flute with the great flute master William Kincaid in Philadelphia and received a bachelor’s degree in music theory and a performance certificate in flute from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester in 1959.

The dozens of works that Ms. Hoover wrote during her lifetime have been performed by over five dozen musical ensembles including the Santa Fe Symphony, the Colorado Quartet, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, the Sylvan Wind Quintet and the New York Virtuoso Singers. In 1994 she conducted the Harrisburg Symphony in the premiere of her orchestral tone poem “Night Skies.” Prominent flutists including Carol Wincenc, Julius Baker, Eugenia Zukerman, and Mark Sparks have also performed her repertoire for flute, which includes Kokpelli for solo flute based upon Native American flute music and the Medieval Suite based on Barbara Tuchman’s book, “The Distant Mirror” by Barbara Tuchman. Margaret had the privilege and honor of performing “The Medieval Suite” in its entirety at her senior flute recital at Oberlin Conservatory in December 1995. Ms. Hoover, who also played professionally, won the National Flute Association’s lifetime achievement award in 2016. Among her many other achievements, Ms. Hoover started her own music publishing company, Papagena Press, in order to release her own compositions. 

Ms. Hoover was teaching flute and music theory at the Manhattan School of Music when Margaret first joined her flute choir in the MSM Preparatory Division during the 1970’s. During the two years that Margaret studied with her as a private student, Margaret made so much progress in her flute playing that she was accepted as a flute performance major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1980. Margaret, who had begun composing at the age of seven,  was also incredibly inspired by Ms. Hoover as a composer and a person as well as a flutist. Ms. Hoover was like a second mother to Margaret who had the opportunity to live with her during Winter Term during her Freshman year at Oberlin. Margaret also had the opportunity to get to know her son, Norman Schwab as well as her husband Richard Goodwin. Ms. Hoover was definitely one of the biggest inspirations in Margaret’s life and will be sorely missed.