Glenn Wayne Cole

1926 - 2002

Glenn Cole, a tenor, cellist, and conductor, directed choirs in two academies and a college in the Seventh-day Adventist educational system. He also directed an independent professional chorale and was active as a church musician.

Glenn was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children born to Clarence Alonzo and Dena Helene Jensen Cole. He attended La Sierra College, now University, where he graduated in 1947 with a degree in religion. While at LSC, he participated in the choral program and played cello in the orchestra and a string quartet.

In the 1947-48 school year, he taught music at Loma Linda Academy and in 1948 was hired to teach at Glendale Union Academy. Following service in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, when he was stationed in Japan, he was invited to join the music department at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, where he directed the choirs and orchestra and taught voice from 1958 to 1962. He also directed the Sligo Church choir on the edge of the WWC campus, building it from a membership of eighteen to forty.

During that time he graduated from the University of Southern California with a master's degree in music and would eventually complete all requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation. While there, he sang in Charles Hirt's Chamber Singers, a prestigious group. During his career, Cole was also a soloist and toured with the Roger Wagner Chorale and sang in the All American Male Chorus, and other similiar groups. He and Wagner became friends, and when Wagner needed a tenor because of an unexpected loss, he would contact Cole, who would assist.

He moved to the Los Angeles, California, area in 1962, where he would serve as director of music at the Wilshire Methodist Church, director of the Pasadena Symphony Chorus, was founder of the Glenn Cole Singers, a select ensemble of 26 who performed often in the Southern California area.

The GCS sang in Adventist churches, on the Adventist Hour (a weekly television program), at the Madonna Festival at the Wilshire Methodist Church, for a Nehru Memorial Concert held in the Greek Theatre, and in other venues on different occasions. They also recorded an album, Great Music from the World of Ellen White, released by Chapel Records.

A lover of the outdoors and an avid skier, Cole was active in skiing activities in the mountains of Central California when he retired. In July 1993 he married Judith (Judy) Cross Hummel, a lyric soprano and former music student who had studied voice under him and sung in his choirs and played in the orchestra under his direction when she had been a music student at WMC.

They moved to Homestead, Florida, where she taught in the Adventist elementary school in Miami. They were living there when he died, at age 75.


Sources: 1930 U.S. Federal Census; Review and Herald, 6 June 1968, 24; Pacific Union Recorder, 1 January 1947, 8; 12 March 1947, 2; 26 November 1947, 7; 28 September 1964, 6; Journal of True Education, February 1949, 29; The Youth's Instructor, 23 March 1954, 9; Columbia Union Visitor, 18 September 1958, 8; Information provided by Klaus Leukert, May 2011 and Judith Cole, July 2011.