While Director of Instrumental Music Dan Fiori enjoyed a sabbatical this year, Matthew Glenn, hired as a one-year interim replacement, did a wonderful job filling in for Mr. Fiori. After teaching and directing instrumental music at Bancroft School in Worcester, MA for 14 years, Mr. Glenn decided to forsake his familiar surroundings for a new challenge at Belmont Hill. Mr. Glenn noted that the friendly and kind atmosphere at Belmont Hill played a pivotal role in making his decision: “When I came to Belmont Hill, I was particularly struck by the warm, thoughtful nature of the administration and the teachers. I also admired how welcoming the students were and their potential to grow as musicians.” His decision to join Belmont Hill has come as a great benefit to the entire community.
At Belmont Hill, Mr. Glenn quickly thrust himself into a busy schedule. Teaching Music Technology and Jazz Music Theory, conducting the Orchestra, Upper and Middle School Jazz Bands, and the Jazz Combo, and helping to assemble the school Piano Trio, Mr. Glenn submerged himself into the thick of musical life at school very early on. One student remarked, “At first, I thought that we students would have to take more responsibility at the start of the school year in managing musical groups to accommodate Mr. Glenn, but that assumption proved to be totally wrong.” Despite a tremendous workload from the outset, Mr. Glenn found his transition into life at Belmont Hill quite smooth. He notes, “I have to thank the administration and the arts department for giving such great support to me, but also I have to thank the students. At Belmont Hill, everyone took an extra step to go out of their way to help me. Without that effort and strong character of the faculty and students, my transition into the fold at Belmont Hill would have undoubtedly been more difficult.”
Mr. Glenn’s contributions in only a single year at Belmont Hill have touched the entire school community. He has brought a new musical perspective to the Orchestra and Jazz Bands, and he has also played a major role in establishing the new Belmont Hill Piano Trio. One member of the Trio noted, “There were many attempts to create chamber groups at this school in the past, but without much faculty support those groups quickly fell apart. Regarding the Piano Trio, however, due to Mr. Glenn’s support we were able to stick together for an entire year and share our love for music with the entire school.”
As his time at Belmont Hill winds down to a close, Mr. Glenn recalls numerous special experiences in the past year. Next year, Mr. Glenn will move to Fessenden, where he will continue to teach music. Some of the highlights of his year here include the energetic and proud all-school Chapel performance in December, the Pep Band at the TD Garden, the Middle School Jazz Band coming together in April, the Piano Trio playing 4 gigs in 8 days in April, and the final Spring Concert and Jazz Night at Ryles in April and May. Mr. Glenn noted how much he enjoyed working with Mr. Patterson. “Mr. Patterson is a great colleague. He answered every question I had, always asked how he could help, and made sure that I arrived and left school every day with a smile.” Mr. Glenn occasionally brought his daughter, Ivy, to school, and he remarked, “Ivy always loved visiting Belmont Hill. Part of it could have been the fact that she got to watch movies and eat cookies, but I know she loved Belmont Hill so much because everyone was so nice to her.” Reflecting on his year, Mr. Glenn holds fond memories of all the groups and students that he taught and directed in a group. He said, “It’s been a wonderful year. I’ve had so many great experiences this year, and I want to make sure to thank all of the students, faculty, staff, and administration.” In turn, the entire Belmont Hill community would like to thank Matt Glenn for making such a large positive impact at school in such a short time.