Joseph A. Levey, 97, of Coral Springs, FL, passed away January 26, 2023.
BM: West Virginia University, MM: Northwestern University, DME: University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the Theory and Composition faculty from 1965 to 1988. His compositions were performed by the Columbus Symphony String Quartet, the Faculty String Quartet, the Brass Choir, the OSU Chorale, the Concert Band, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Dance faculty.
Dr. Levey assembled the Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies, wrote the curriculum, and became its first Director. He organized the first Spring Jazz Festival and the first Summer Jazz Camp for high school musicians. He acted as jazz clinician at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Convention, the Ohio Music Educators Convention, and the West Virginia Music Educators Meeting. He was a Director of the OSU Jazz Ensemble and his students played in major big bands such as Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Ray Charles, and Las Vegas show bands.
Dr. Levey performed on tenor sax, clarinet, and flute with the Jerry Kaye Orchestra to back up such performers as Rosemary Clooney, Carmen McRae, Natalie Cole, Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Al Martino, Sonny and Cher, Bob Hope, and many others.
A skilled conductor, Dr. Levey acted as Music Director for several Theater Department musical productions. They included ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, YOUR OWN THING, THE FANTASTICKS, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and MOTHER COURAGE.
He has been published by Broadcast Music Inc., Shawnee Press, Prentice Hall, and University Press of America.
Dr. Levey is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Anthony Roppo of Sunrise, FL; granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Emily and John Trahan, of Orlando, FL; niece, Eve Selman of Tampa, FL, and nephew, Jeff Selman of Denver, CO.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Levey, and grandson, Anthony Roppo.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, 4:00pm until the funeral service begins at 7:00pm, at T. M. Ralph Funeral Home Sawgrass/Weston, 371 NW 136th Avenue, Sunrise, FL 33325 (954) 587-6888 www.tmralph.com