MARY MEAUX — Conductor from Port Arthur returning home with Broadway production of “Anastasia”
Published 12:32 am Thursday, March 23, 2023
Glenn and Yoshi Alexander didn’t quite understand their son Glen Alexander II’s decision to go into music instead of following in his father’s footsteps in the medical field.
At least not until they saw him make his Carnegie Hall debut to conduct Grammy and Academy Award winning “American Symphony” by Jon Batiste.
That’s when the proverbial light bulb went off.
And now, on the heels of that awe inspiring career high comes another.
Alexander II will take to the podium at the Lutcher Theater as conductor and musical director of the Broadway musical “Anastasia” March 30 and March 31.
I’m guessing he will be greeted by a lot of Port Arthurans and Southeast Texans.
His mom, Yoshi Alexander, said the family is so excited and proud of his career.
“He remains humble,” Yoshi said. “He loves his craft and is proficient in what he does. He is making great steps and we couldn’t be prouder of Glenn right now.”
Alexander II’s parents began a home ministry years ago and he started playing keyboards at the age of 14 — he was self-taught then.
Yoshi saw his musical progression from playing at church to piano performances at Prairie View A&M and so on.
“We thought he’d go into medicine like his dad,” she said of Glenn Alexander Sr., who retired as a pediatric nurse practitioner. “One day he sat down at the dining room table and said he decided on what path he would take. He said he was going into music. At that time we didn’t understand, but the more we see him on stage and in his element, we realize this is where he’s supposed to be. He’s exercising his gift and talents.”
She said neither her nor Alexander Sr. have musical talents, so this gift is from God.
Alexander II once told his parents he hears symphonies in his head all of the time.
The Port Arthur native and New York resident is but one of a handful of black conductors. His mom said it hasn’t been easy for him but it is doable.
“You have got to be persistent and not give up. He’s been rejected a number of times for jobs, but something else always comes along,” she said. “There’s always another opportunity. He’s always been in the right place for the right time for that opportunity.”
She said they continually let him know how proud they are of him and she suspects others from Port Arthur and the area may feel the same.
According to his bio information, Alexander II is a doctoral student in orchestral conducting at the Manhattan School of Music. He holds a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from the Bard College Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Prairie View A&M University.
His teachers and mentors include James Bagwell, Damien Sneed and Dr. Vicki A. Seldon. He is a brother of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.
Select tickets for “Anastasia” are available and can be purchased at lutcher.org or by calling the Box Office at 409-886-5535.
The Lutcher Theater is located at 707 Main Avenue in Orange.
Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at email@example.com.