Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

A Defining Experience 

A Defining Experience 

Headshot of Taylor Hanex

When Taylor Hanex takes the reins of the Peabody Institute’s advisory board this fall, there will be no learning curve. A longtime Peabody board member and Johns Hopkins University trustee, Ms. Hanex is poised to tackle an ambitious agenda.

“This is the most exciting time to be at Peabody. We can accomplish so much with our strong, creative leadership team and our focused, enthusiastic advisory board,” says Ms. Hanex (BM ’75, MM ’78, Piano). As she rattles off a lengthy list of projects and pro- grams about which she is excited, it’s clear that her Peabody work is one of her top priorities.

Ms. Hanex’s passion for Peabody began as a teenager, when her father drove her to Baltimore on Saturdays from their home in Springfield, Va., so she could study piano at the Peabody Preparatory. She then went on to attend the Peabody Conservatory for her undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano performance. She later earned an MBA from Fordham University and is now a senior vice president and wealth manager with Merrill Lynch.

“My feeling is that Peabody saved my life,” she says. “I was a shy, awkward kid, and Peabody was a life-changing experience for me — defining me as a person and giving me an identity and direction.

“Music gets us in touch with our higher selves, and through music we learn to communicate and listen, open our minds and hearts, and see things from a different angle. It helps us get in touch with who we are. If I hadn’t had Peabody, I don’t know what I would have done.”

One of Ms. Hanex’s goals is to use her position on the Johns Hopkins University board of trustees to encourage more awareness of the exciting things happening at Peabody and gain additional support for them.

“Peabody’s collaboration with the other Hopkins schools, such as the School of Medicine, provides a true competitive edge for Peabody,” she says. She cites research projects in areas such as musician wellness, therapeutic and palliative uses of music to treat disease, the impact of music lessons on Parkinson’s patients, and creative brain activity as examples of this important interdisciplinary work.

“Taylor is such a natural fit for leadership of Peabody Institute’s advisory board,” says Mark Paris (BM ’84, Voice), outgoing chair of the board. “Taylor will not sit back and simply bang the gavel. She is focused on Peabody’s vision and direction. She loves these hallowed halls and echoes from our time as students. Like all

of us on the advisory board, we are proud of where Peabody has been and is, and we are doubly excited about where we are going.”

Ms. Hanex says she will charge her board members with enthusiastically supporting Peabody’s new vision and spreading the word on the many current projects that will excite new donors whose passions align with Peabody’s.

“I have a passion for seeing how Peabody changes lives,” she says. “And hopefully, in the coming years, we on the board will watch as Peabody saves more lives.”

— Christine Stutz