Music director retires, music silenced

Posted Online: May 02, 2014, 5:10 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Claudia Loucks,
GENESEO -- Sounds of music no longer will regularly echo in the halls of Holy Trinity Church or in surrounding streets.

Church music director Joe Glattly, 90, of Atkinson, has had to retire for health reasons, and no one in the church knows how to play the organ. The church doesn't have a piano, either, meaning there will be services without music.

"That makes me sad," he said.

Mr. Glattly has been the church's music director for at least 35 years, he said.

He said he may "be able to play at times," but he couldn't maintain his regular commitment because of his health.

Mr. Glattly's love for music began when he was in seventh grade and began playing saxophone in his school band in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Music also played an important part of family life. For example, his mother sang in the church choir.

After graduating from high school, Mr. Glattly spent time traveling with various bands across the U.S.

"Most of our bookings were for one night," he said. "One night in Norfolk, Neb., we played at the high school where Johnny Carson was a senior. I think that was about 1942."

Mr. Glattly later joined the U.S. Army and played saxophone with the Army band. One of his most special experiences was playing in a parade in Chicago, "and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was general at the time, was in that parade."

Mr. Glattly also played in a dance band when he was a student at the University of Iowa.

In addition to playing saxophone and organ, he's also an accomplished clarinet and piano player, and has written many pieces of music.

"I started writing music after college," he said. "Tunes just came into my head and I would go to the piano and develop them into a piece of music. That is fulfilling for me, and I still do that."

Most of his written music is for concert band, including an "Ivan D. Kennedy March," penned in the 1950s in honor of his Oskaloosa High School band director.

"I sent the piece to Mr. Kennedy, and it was played at a performance of the Oskaloosa Community Band that he directs," Mr. Glattly said.

He attributes much of his love for music to Mr. Kennedy, he said.

When Mr. Glattly and his wife, Sandra, were first married, he played with bands four nights per week and taught music during the day. He continued to play clarinet and saxophone with different bands after the couple moved to Atkinson in 1960.

He plans to continue to play clarinet and piano at home, he said.

Playing the organ at Holy Trinity brought much joy into Mr. Glattly's life, he said.

He played four hymns every Sunday, "but I am just not able to do that anymore."

Joe Glattly
Birth date: July 26, 1923.
Family: Wife, Sandra Glattly; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Jonna Glattly, Malibu, Calif.; four grandchildren and a great-grandson. Another son, Craig Glattly, died in 2006 from injuries incurred when struck by a car near his home in Lake Forest.
Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Education: Oskaloosa High School; Bachelor of Science degree and master's degree in music from the University of Iowa.
Favorite Scripture: Psalms 23.
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: "Joseph, because I think he was a good husband to Mary and a good father to Jesus."
Hobbies and activities: "I love to play and write music; and have been playing the clarinet with the Maple City Band, Geneseo, since 1961."
Peak experience: "When something I have written is played at a concert for people to enjoy."
Pit experience: "The death of our son."
One thing I feel strongly about: "Trying to live in peace and harmony with others just like harmony in a good piece of music."
I wish I knew how to: "Play a pipe organ with many keyboards and pipes."


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.

(More History)