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Memorial endowment in music composition supports fellowship, concert


Ryan Rey, the first recipient of the Glenn Glasow Graduate Fellowship in Music Composition.

  • May 13, 2009

As a young man aspiring to a career in music, professor emeritus Glenn Glasow played in dance bands, studied with experts and wrote as many compositions as he could. Now a $150,000 gift in his memory from his partner Yoshiko Kakudo will give Cal State East Bay music students the opportunity to follow the same dream.

The newly established Glenn Glasow and Yoshiko Kakudo Endowment in Music Composition will support a yearlong fellowship for graduate study and an annual concert honoring Glasow. Music composition faculty selected senior Ryan Rey to receive the inaugural fellowship.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for me,” said Rey, who will graduate in June. One of his goals is to teach at a university; he said this fellowship will give him a better shot at earning a spot in a doctoral program.

Combining a scholastic fellowship with a live performance is the ideal way to remember Glasow’s passion for teaching and love of music, according to Kakudo. “I am pleased that my endowment will advance the creativity of a talented student in music composition. Glenn dedicated his teaching to this end and, in his understated Minnesota manner, would like the idea,” she said.

Glasow was a professor of music and Asian studies from 1961 to 1995. Born in Minnesota, he attended Hamline University, studied music in Germany on a Fulbright grant and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. Before joining the faculty at CSUEB, Glasow was the music director at radio station KPFA. In addition to teaching, he was also an active composer and an expert in world music, particularly Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.

In 2002, the music department held the inaugural Glenn Glasow Concert, featuring works by alumni, faculty and students, with Glasow in attendance. After his death, it became an annual memorial event. Frank La Rocca, chair of the music department, said “Glenn was the most naturally gifted teacher I ever knew. His love of music, his voracious intellect and his love of students were powerful models to me as a young faculty member, and I cherish many fond memories of long talks with Glenn.”

La Rocca suggested linking the fellowship to the concert in Glasow’s memory, which has been sponsored by yearly donations from Kakudo. The endowment will ensure that this tradition can continue.

“Endowments guarantee that a person can be remembered for a long time,” said Bob Burt, vice president of University Advancement, who will manage the endowment through the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation. “It’s a wonderful way to create or sustain a program that would be meaningful to a loved one or a mentor,” he said.

The seventh annual Glenn Glasow memorial concert will be held at 8 p.m. May 18 in the Recital Hall on the Hayward campus. This year’s program will feature several alumni compositions, including one by Giancarlo Aquilanti, who studied with Glasow for his M.A. and is now the director of Stanford University’s music theory program. Beginning with Rey at the 2010 concert, the program will also feature the premiere of an original composition written by recipients during their fellowship years. Admission is free; aditional information is available online.

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