Aszemar Glenn at the piano

Cascadia Composers was saddened by the passing of esteemed colleague and board member Aszemar Glenn in April of 2021. Aszemar was a native Oregonian and Portlander who studied music at Pacific University, becoming a composer (ASCAP), writer, ethnomusicologist, and pianist performing standard classical repertoire as well as his own and other contemporary works. He loved African-American music, European music, and his neighborhood, where he might be found performing at St. Johns Christian Church or chatting with the owner at iconic St. Johns crossroads Peninsula Station. He never gave up his dreams — even as he battled the illness that would eventually claim him, undergoing experimental treatment when others failed, he worked to polish his piano chops for future recitals, and made plans to revive the Oregon Cascade Symphony which he had founded and directed in the 1990s. As a young, emerging artist, he once told The Oregonian “I believe we all have a richness we can shape.” He worked all his life to shape his own and others’ including, in his last few years, Cascadia’s as well. He is missed.