Scherzo, tremolo, legato, and cantabile. These might as well be a foreign language to some, but for Joyce McGlaun, they’re a second language. It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. What is to be said of someone who has dedicated over five decades to their craft?
“Joyce has been a staple of this orchestra since I took over in 2005,” said APO Music Director David Itkin. “It will be weird to look over at the violin section and not see her there.”
It would be a bit of an understatement to say music has been a constant for Joyce. It seems to be woven into the fabric of her very being. Joyce received her bachelor’s of music in education from Texas Tech University, and ever since then, music has been at the forefront of her life.
Joyce has lent her musical prowess to symphony orchestras and various string ensembles since 1966. She found her way to Abilene Philharmonic in the fall of 1977 under the direction of George Yeager. She has since played under two other music directors, Shinik Hahm, and current director, David Itkin. When Joyce is not in concert, she shares her experience through tutelage. It is one thing to teach, but in pursuit of teaching excellence, she became a Suzuki trained educator. Suzuki education is a method that applies the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music. Her commitment to providing students with all the tools they need for success is what makes her a highly sought-after teacher.
To stay abreast of all the happenings in the music community, Joyce is a member of several associations – Suzuki Association of the Americas, North Texas Suzuki Association, American String Teachers Association, and Harmony Club of Abilene, NFMC. She also serves in various offices in the local organizations and Texas Music Educators Association.
Now after 46 years of musicianship with APO, Joyce is retiring. To commemorate her retirement, APO will name the Principal Second Violin chair after her. It will be immortalized as the Joyce McGlaun Principal Second Violin Chair.
This special naming privilege is the result of a Phase 1 fundraising campaign that began in early 2020. The goal was $1.5 million and was surpassed with a staggering $2 million in pledges and contributions. This could not have happened without the strong leadership and support from campaign chairs Larry and Mary Gill.
The fundraiser, entitled Music Director Endowment campaign, will also allow APO to fulfill numerous necessary objectives. But in large part, it will allow them to realize their mission to unleash the power of music to entertain, educate, and inspire through live symphonic music and community engagement.
After such success with the Phase 1 campaign, a Phase 2 fundraiser has been launched with an additional goal of $1 million raised by the organization’s 75th Anniversary in 2025. One of the goals of this major fundraiser is to increase the budget to properly market the APO’s concert and many education programs. These education initiatives include Mission: Strings, Instrument Petting Zoos, Abilene Youth Orchestra, Baby Music, and more. Joyce is one of the instructors for Baby Music and has provided many families with the building blocks for a musical future.
Joshua Bell said, “When you play a violin piece, you are a storyteller, and you’re telling a story.” There is no doubt that Joyce has enriched the community with her musical stories and the orchestra is endlessly grateful for all her contributions throughout the years.
Contributed By The Abilene Philharmonic