By CURT HARLER
Long-time fixtures in music at Penn State, both Dennis and Jayne Glocke will retire at the end of the Spring term. They are familiar to many ABBA members who performed under their batons. Dennis, director of concert bands, has been at Penn State since 1996. Jayne, who conducts Oriana Singers, Campus Choir for non-music majors, on-line classes, and the summer honors program has been at PSU for almost as long.
Dennis, whose instruments are piano and clarinet, will conduct the Symphonic Band as his final concert on the last Thursday of April. Jayne and Dennis both retire the day after, the final day of the Spring term.
Prior to coming to Penn State, Dennis was associate director of bands at the University of Michigan, director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and a band director in the Oconomowoc, WI public schools. He got his Bachelor’s Degree at Wisconsin and his M.Mus. at Northwestern.
Jayne earned both her undergraduate and masters degrees in choral conducting and choral literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She conducts the Honors Music Institute, Penn State’s summer workshop for talented high school musicians. Oriana Singers is a treble choir composed of 60 women representing a wide variety of majors. The group’s repertoire includes music for treble voices from the 16th to the 21st century: madrigals, motets, part-songs, folk songs, musical theatre, and music by female composers.
“I loved my time at Penn State,” Dennis says. He thinks fondly of instances that were not high-profile…like student rehearsals that clicked or collaborations with colleagues. Higher profile events like traveling to Italy in 2005 with the Wind Ensemble as the first American band to perform for the Corno d’Oro stand out. More recently, Dennis worked with a number of Penn State Honors Music Institute alumni performing in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2018 All-National Honor Band in Orlando, FL. The nation’s most elite high school musicians vie for the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the ensemble, first competing at local levels to become eligible.
“Being invited to conduct the NAfMe All-National Honor Band was one of the greatest honors of my career,” Dennis says. “The talent, dedication, and commitment of these young musicians was extraordinary.”
Jayne and Dennis have travel and grand-parenting in their near futures. With children in State College, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, they have plenty of places to go. Their grandchild is due to arrive in Happy Valley in April – a wonderful retirement gift for both.