Sunday, October 26, 2008

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. We have an outstanding group and an exciting year planned, and the feeling of unity and purpose in that first breath was a wonderful start.

There'll be more to come in the next few weeks and throughout the year, but because there's no better way to illustrate the tradition and spirit of the Yale Glee Club, I'll conclude this first post with some music - the Glee Club of 1941, directed by Marshall Bartholomew, singing 'Neath the Elms.

-Ray Nagem CC '09