The former director of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra is being remembered as a man who not only brought significant change to the organization, but did so in a gentle and thoughtful way.
Joseph Henry died last Sunday at the age of 84.
Henry was hired as a music professor at the University of Montana in 1984. At that time, that position included the added responsibility of serving as Music Director of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, which at that time was called the "Missoula Civic Symphony".
Missoula Symphony Association Executive Director, John Driscoll, says Henry was genuinely passionate about music; so much so that he founded the Toledo Youth Symphony when Henry himself was just a teenager.
Henry is remembered for ushering in some of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra's most important changes including the transition from an all-volunteer orchestra to one that pays an honorarium to its musicians. He also started the immensely popular summer Symphony in the Park and Family Concert events.
Driscoll says Joseph Henry had a knack for making everyone feel important, regardless of their age or skill-sets. Henry was also a soft-spoken and reserved man; a very different outward personality from the Missoula Symphony Orchestra's current Music Director, Darko Butorac. This is how Driscoll puts it:
A public memorial service for Joseph Henry will be held Sunday, June 8th at 1:00 at the University of Montana's music recital hall.