Peabody Johns Hopkins University Magazine

A Life of Music 

A Life of Music 

A bequest to establish an endowed scholarship fund specifically for cello students has been pledged by alumna Janet Rayburn Greive (BM ’62, MM ’63, Cello) and her husband, Tyrone Greive.

Ms. Greive, a cellist who has spent her entire career teaching music and performing in a variety of chamber and orchestral groups, says she also intends to donate her instrument to Peabody, so that students will continue to play and enjoy it.

“It’s an English cello,” she says, “made by noted instrument maker William Forster in the 1780s.” Sadly, due to arthritis, Ms. Greive says, she can’t play anymore. Her husband, a University of Wisconsin-Madison emeritus violin professor and retired concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, notes: “Having good instruments is a responsibility because they’re not yours. They belong to posterity.”

The Greives, who do not have children, say they wanted to divide their estate among the educational institutions that established
the foundations for their musical careers. Although a native of South Dakota, Ms. Greive chose to come east and attend the Peabody Conservatory, the only music school to which she applied. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees on full scholarship. “I did not put out a single penny for my tuition,” she says.

“We just felt it was the right thing to do, especially in this day and age, with the costs of education,” she continues. “I was helped out so much with my education. I wouldn’t feel right not giving back.”

Ms. Greive says she has watched Peabody grow from a small but formidable institution to something even more impressive. “I can see that the quality is very high,” she says. She recalls how the cultural life of Baltimore enriched her musical education, apart from her studies at Peabody. “I had a very fine experience at Peabody, and in Baltimore,” she says. “A lot of my education I obtained just in the community itself. I was open to almost everything, since it was all new to me.”

Having grown up in a musical home and attended Interlochen Summer Arts Camp as a young adult, Ms. Greive has been immersed in music almost as far back as she can remember.

“We have lived our whole lives in music,” says Mr. Greive. “We have always played music together, whether as a duo, in a trio, chamber groups, or orchestras.” The couple, married for 48 years, retired from the Madison Symphony in 2010; Ms. Greive, like her husband, had played with the group since 1979.

Leaving their estate to the institutions where they received their training just makes sense, according to Mr. Greive. “Janet had a variety of cello teachers at Peabody, and they were all terrific,” he says. “She got a well-rounded and yet very much in-depth education there.”

— Christine Stutz