Jo Anne Keener

Jo Anne Keener died October 12, 2012, after an extended illness One of our founding members, Jo Anne was president of the Forum at an instrumental time—when we decided how to use money raised in our first concert (2002) and she spearheaded the movement for us to get our 501c3 status.  She frequently wrote members thanking them for their efforts and always sent “get well” cards to members who were ill.   A sweet and loving woman, a spirited leader, a devoted and informed teacher since the early sixties—she will be greatly missed.

Born in Norton, KS, she was the daughter of Joe M. and Marian (Hulsizer) Williams. She attended public schools in Lawrence, KS, and Louisville and Elizabethtown, KY. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Millikin U., Decatur, IL, and an MS degree from the U. of Colorado, Boulder. She taught music in Rockford and Bloomington, IL. In 1964, she moved with her family to Swannanoa where they became part of the Warren Wilson College (WWC) community.

Jo Anne was active in several organizations during her nearly 50 years in the Asheville area. In addition to membership at WWPC & CC, she was a charter member of Chapter M-PEO, a founding member of the Asheville Choral Society (ACS) and the Asheville Area Piano Forum (AAPF). She operated Do-Mi-Sol Studio in their home and taught piano to many students in the valley. She is remembered as being a kind, loving, encouraging, yet challenging and demanding piano teacher whose love for music and her students was a high priority in her life. She loved traveling and was part of ACS's concert tours to Europe on a number of occasions. A devout Christian, she was always concerned about the welfare of others, especially her family.

Of her teaching, Jo Anne wrote that she began teaching in Illinois in the early sixties when her own children were ready for piano lessons. At that time Robert Pace was giving workshops about his new piano series. She became "hooked" on his approach, which led to her own analysis of what best procedure to use with beginning piano students. Thus began a never-ending trial with various methods, coming to realize that a teacher uses many methods. Even after completely retiring from teaching,   Jo Anne remained committed to the Forum.

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