Mother and Son Share Music Teaching Legacy
Music runs deep in the lives of two Tyler County choir teachers.
Clara Glover and her son Abram Negie have more than 40 years worth of combined experience teaching music within the county school system. Glover taught music education and was the schools’ choir director for 37 years before she retired in 2013. Three years ago, Negie took over as choir director and teaches music to the next generation of Tyler students.
“Our family used to sing Christmas carols in the car, in the house,” Glover said. “We were always singing. It was kind of a family thing. And that made all the difference. It was just fun for us those songs and memories. That is something that me and Abram are driven to do. And that means our love music has been shared with students and other members of the community for more than 40 years combined.”
Negie said he enjoys teaching same as his mom.
“I wouldn’t classify this as a dream come true because it is work, but it is also play at the same time,” he said. “I never dreamed that I would not only be teaching music at my alma mater, but I would be following in my mom’s footsteps.”
Like her son, Glover hails from Tyler County. She graduated from Tyler County High School when it was in Middlebourne. After graduating from Salem College, Glover returned home to start a career and raise a family.
“I grew up in Tyler County and came back,” said Glover, 61, of her Tyler County heritage. “The thing about this place that speaks to me most I wanted to raise my children, small schools and live in a quiet neighborhood and place that hadn’t quite caught up with the rest of the world.”
The family’s home was never quiet. Glover said her children, Abram, Brendan and Bree all were members of the school choir.
“Growing up, she would play a piano, and off-and-on we would join in singing something or making up songs,” Abram Negie said. “If the music existed, we would play it. We’d go from classical, to Gregorian chant, to anything you would hear on the radio today like the Heavy Metal group Metallica.”
Glover added, “Music is special. It speaks to the spirit. It speaks to everyone. Everybody can find some type of music they can appreciate.”
Glover said as she was teaching, she wanted to expand their horizons beyond Tyler County. One of the best parts about being a teacher, she said, “Was that look on their faces when they realized they got something right. And just the joy of doing the concerts together. I loved working with the kids. I wanted to give them opportunities to go outside the county to places like Wheeling, Pittsburgh to see for the Nutcracker. I loved doing that. Those were opportunities I didn’t have when I was in school, so it was important to me to give kids that world perspective.”
Negie, 27, who graduated with a degree from West Liberty in 2011, said like his mother before him, he enjoys teaching particularly at his alma mater, class of 2007.
“It’s fun because there are a lot of teachers there who I remember from when I was in school,” he said. “When I stepped into the position, they made me feel like I was part of the family. The best thing about teaching the excitement that students show when they understand something more about music.”