Marilyn P. Schwaner, orchestra director and violinist, dies at 83

March 11

Marilyn P. Schwaner, a professional violinist and orchestra director with local schools, died Feb. 28 at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, an assisted-living home in Falls Church. She was 83.

The cause was a stroke, said her daughter, Jan Schwaner.

Mrs. Schwaner, a Falls Church resident, taught elementary school, middle school and high school orchestra. From 1973 until 1989, she served as an orchestra director at Fairfax County schools including Stratford Landing Elementary School and Fort Hunt Elementary School, both in Alexandria, and the old Stephen Foster Intermediate School.

She was the founding orchestra director at the old Fort Hunt High School until it closed in 1985 and at West Potomac High School in Alexandria from 1985 to 1989. For about a decade, she directed the Levine School of Music’s orchestra in Washington before retiring in the mid-1990s.

Marilyn Louise Palm was a Detroit native and a 1952 music graduate of the University of Michigan. She received a master’s degree in music from the Boston Conservatory in 1967.

She was a former concertmaster of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Mount Vernon Chamber Orchestra. She was a founding member and performed with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and volunteered at the National Gallery of Art from 1990 until 2009.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Robert Schwaner of Falls Church; three children, Jan Schwaner of Wellesley, Mass., Daniel Schwaner of Springfield, Va., and Carl Schwaner of Charlottesville, Va.; a sister; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

— Megan McDonough

Most Read Local