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May 28, 2008 > Music teachers bid Adieu

Music teachers bid Adieu

By Praveena Raman
Photos By Venkat Raman

On June 15, 2008 students from far and near and from across seas will be gathering together with friends to say farewell to Lee and Roy Glover as they retire from Mission San Jose and San Leandro High Schools respectively. Musical theatre favorites of Lee and Roy from the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 2000s will be performed by groups of students from those decades while everyone ranging in age from the teens to late 40s will be singing choral songs together. The performance will be a true testimony of the lasting legacy that the Glovers will be leaving behind.

Meeting of their eyes across a crowded room at Cal State Hayward (now East Bay) was the start of Lee and Roy's romance and partnership, which has lasted more than 36 years. After graduating from Cal State Hayward with a degree in music, they remained in the Bay Area: Lee returned to Fremont and started her career at Irvington High School and later also taught at her alma mater Mission High, while Roy settled in San Leandro High. From the very beginning, Lee and Roy drew from each other's strengths of their own teaching at their respective schools. Claire Mendonca, one of Lee's first students, recalls, "During Lee's first year at Irvington High, Roy always visited after school, after he had completed teaching his music classes. He would be there for the Thor Throats' practice, providing support and recommendations to Lee and the students at rehearsals."

In the subsequent years this partnership grew and during each year they brought the students from San Leandro High, Irvington and Mission San Jose High Schools together to perform at the Winter concert, Spring concert and tour. The rehearsals and concerts were held both in San Leandro and Fremont with both groups performing in both cities. With this exchange the Glovers not only brought the students but also families and friends from both communities together in lasting friendships. Two such chorale students Ian Reddoch from Mission San Jose High and Jessica Benotti from San Leandro High who graduated in 1991 tied the knot three years later.

The spring tour on which the Glovers took their students each year was unique. The tour consisted of visits to different high schools in the Santa Barbara area, sleeping on the host school's gym floors, performing for the hosts with just the sheer enjoyment of music and without the pressure of competition, having choral exchanges with some of the hosts, singing at Mission Santa Barbara, visiting Solvang for lunch and shopping, attending a professional musical performance, having a movie night and finally ending the tour with a visit to Disneyland. The recent and final tour that the Glovers made with their students, May 14-18, started for the first time at Mission San Jose in Fremont. During the tour Lee and Roy bid farewell to the different schools that they had been visiting for the last 30 years. Chris Bledsoe, Music Director at Arroyo Grande High School, talked about how he knew Roy and Lee from his student days at Cal State Hayward where Lee was his Master Teacher and spoke of fond memories including the time when a raccoon escaped into the gym where the students were camped. At Saint Josephs High School, while thanking the students and staff for their hospitality, Roy said, "one of the chaperones this morning told me that I have slept for a whole month in your gym. I realized this was true as I have stayed a night per year for 30 years."

The school year is drawing to a close, the tour is finished and the final spring concerts take place the week of May 26. However, the finalé this year will be the surprise concert and event planned by students and friends of Lee and Roy Glover. All past and present students are invited to attend and perform and all friends and acquaintances are invited to attend this special event. The community is requested to pass this information on to students with whom they are in contact. For more information please contact Anne Riley at 408-569-7064 or by email at lee.is.retiring@gmail.com

The Glover retirement party
Sunday June 15
2 p.m.
Smith Center, Ohlone College, 4300 Mission Blvd, Femont, CA 94539

Tickets $25 (includes concert, reception and donation for gift)
Tickets are available at the Smith Center Box Office; by mail at MSJPUPS, PO Box 3252, Fremont, CA 94539, or on the web at www.smithcenterpresents.com or www.msjpups.org. Please make checks payable to MSJPUPS.

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