A much loved and highly respected bandsman, described as a musician “capable of playing on the world stage”, will be laid to rest today following his tragic death due to cancer.
Tributes have poured in for Marquez Glenny, aged 45 and originally from Kilkeel in Co Down before moving to Banbridge and then Portadown, who passed away at his home on Saturday having finally succumbed after a long-running battle with cancer.
His family, friends and fellow musicians spoke highly of the renowned flautist and father-of-two.
A member of Derryogue Flute Band, Mr Glenny was well known throughout the band scene as “a good friend to all the bands”.
His uncle, Raymond Glenny, told the News Letter: “They just don’t come any better. I find it hard to put into words.
“I just couldn’t find a bad word to say about him. Everybody who knew him thought the world about him. “
He added: “It is so heartbreaking. This is so hard. He had a lengthy illness, off and on. He had overcome cancer on different occasions and we thought it was all clear, but now he’s gone.”
Mourne councillor Henry Reilly was amongst those to speak highly of Mr Glenny.
“I would say without exception, he was one of the most admired flautists within the band scene, within the local area and even within Northern Ireland,” he said.
“Some people compared him to James Galway and some would suggest he would have been capable of playing on the world stage if the opportunities had come up for him. He was a very popular individual, a very good person and he will be very sadly missed.”
The South Down MLA Jim Wells said: “It was a great shock to the community on Saturday when we heard he had passed away.
“There is an extremely high standard of band culture in Mourne. We have several bands which would be amongst the top in all of Northern Ireland and Marquez made an enormous contribution to that.”
Mr Wells continued: “He was extremely gifted and very keen to share that with the community in the band scene. As a result of his labours there are far more young people who are musically gifted in Mourne than probably any other part of Northern Ireland.
“It is people like Marquez who have helped many young people become proficient.”
Mr Glenny had also been a member of Schomberg Fife and Drum re-enactment band.
Gareth Crozier, Chairman of the Schomberg Society, an Ulster Scots cultural and community organisation, said: “There wasn’t one who could have touched him on the flute. But he was also well-loved and well respected as a person and as a man. He was a gentleman and he would never have passed you by.”
Mr Crozier continued: “He was into preserving his local band history and his first love would have been Derryogue but you could easily name another 12 bands that he had guested with.”
It is understood the spelling of Mr Glenny’s Christian name was in tribute to his mother, who had the Spanish-sounding Christian name Vasquez (but who was from Northern Ireland).
Tributes were also paid to Mr Glenny by a large number of flute bands.
Orangefield Flute Band, with whom Mr Glenny’s daughter plays, were amongst many to express their sadness. In a statement, the band said: “Marquez was a good friend to Orangefield, as indeed he was to all bands.”
His funeral will take place today at Mourne Presbyterian Church, Kilkeel, at 12 noon.