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Showing posts from 2008

Announcing the YGC 2009 Winter Tour Blog

As 2008 draws to a close, the 2009 Yale Glee Club Winter Tour is almost upon us! Winter Tour is a cherished tradition for members of the YGC - it's a chance to showcase a semester of choral work, travel to fun new places, make some new friends and come together even more as a group. This year's tour, starting January 1st, will surely carry on that tradition. The hard work of Tour Managers Sarah Dewey and Mary Schnoor, combined with the generosity of alums and community members in the Pacific Northwest, promise to make for a fantastic experience and great concerts.

But in the midst of all the tradition of the YGC, this year we're going to try something new: a Winter Tour Blog. The Yale Glee Club was founded in 1863 - in internet-age terms, somewhere in the early Paleozoic era. In those days, on-the-road updates would have a tad more difficult than in this age of laptops, wireless internet, and iPhones (the recent bad weather in the Pacific Northwest would probably have made …

In memory of Fenno Heath, 1926-2008

Fenno Heath, legendary conductor of the Yale Glee Club from 1953-1992, passed away on December 6. His family has set up a website with many more wonderful stories and memories of him.

On hearing the sad news of Fenno’s passing, I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts, tell a couple of stories of Fenno, and hopefully honor him a little bit, as best as anyone can. For new Glee Clubbers: Fenno Heath was our conductor from the 1950s through the 1990s. If any one person could embody the Yale Glee Club, Fenno would be he. He made the courageous leap to bring women into the group; he brought the group on numerous tours abroad, including to China (I believe the group's first China tour ever); he arranged and even composed for the group extensively (hence the Fenno Heath Award for new Yale songs); and most importantly, he did it all with a spirit of genuine, hardy big-heartedness.

I can't claim to have any Glee Club memories from before 2005, but in my time in the Glee Club, we di…

The Oregon Trail

This post is by Sarah Dewey MC '10 and Mary Schnoor CC '10, our domestic tour managers. This year's domestic tour will be to the Pacific Northwest from January 1-9.

Well, it goes without saying that this year's winter tour will be the best experience of many Glee Clubbers' lives. All hubris aside, though, it's looking to be a great time. This is mostly because of the generosity and excitement of the local alums and contacts we've made throughout the Pacific Northwest. Everyone has been very generous with his or her time, efforts, performance space, and even couches.

Our itinerary is as follows:
Seattle, WA
Astoria, OR
Portland, OR
Eugene, OR
Chico, CA
San Francisco, CA

Currently, we have concerts slated for every city except Portland, where we anticipate a workshop with the soprano Dawn Upshaw! This workshop is one of our two outreach events, since we will be working with the Pacific Youth Choirs, of which Glee Clubbers Daniel Cruse '11 and Rob Williams '12…

"Through Eden"

This post is by Bram Wayman SY '09, the winner of the 2008 Fenno Heath Award for the composition of a new Yale song. His piece, "Through Eden," was premiered this past Friday at the Yale/Princeton Glee Club Concert.

Composing, rehearsing, and performing "Through Eden" has been a fulfilling musical experience for me. I'm often happiest when the music I'm writing is rooted in something personally compelling, and "Through Eden" is no exception. The text I used, an excerpt from the traditional Commencement speech by Dean (now Provost) Salovey, has always struck me, especially at last year's Commencement, when I knew I would be next. The feeling I got from that text was the sense of incredulous wonder that I figure I'll feel when I take my last look at Yale, and the rush of empowerment from knowing I'm a part of it all.

This overwhelming sentiment was a far cry from the nuts and bolts of the composition itself, which I wanted to structure…

Winds of night around us sighing ...

The 148th Yale Glee Club kicked off its concert season yesterday in front of a large and enthusiastic audience in Woolsey Hall. The program, shared with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Yale Concert Band, included works by Grieg and Pärt, arrangements by Roland Carter and Jeff Douma, and, of course, a set of Yale songs.

It already feels like this year's Glee Club has been together a long time; in addition to nearly two months of rehearsals, we've gone on retreat in northwest Connecticut, picked apples and baked apple pies, and celebrated Octoberfest in (nearly) authentic German style. But Parents' Weekend is the first time we take the stage as a group, and the opening note of "Gaudeamus igitur" is the first sound we present to the public. There's always a little thrill accompanying that first note, a sense that, with the first breath we take together, we're launching a season that will take us beautiful and unexpected places.

Last night was no exception. …