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The Game

Below, officers Elaine Sullivan, Danny Townsend, and Dan Schechner '10 describe the annual Glee Club-YPMB football game--in which the Glee Club was, of course, victorious.
The 15th of November, 2009 will go down in history as the third consecutive Glee Club win against the YPMB in the annual football showdown. Members from all years and sections of the 149th Glee Club (except for sopranos) destroyed the Yale Precision Marching Band in football, 5 – 2, in what was the shortest and perhaps most deadly rampage in the age-old conflict between forces of Glee and forces of YPMB.Led by the 2009 YGC-YPMB Football Captains Sarah Dewey, Dan Schechner, Derek Tam and Rachel Wilf, the team never let the YPMB lead. Quarterbacks Rob Williams and Peter Clune overcame the challenge of low-lying branches to deliver beautifully spiraling footballs arcing through the air and landing in the receiver’s hands.A special shout-out to the YGC Alto Section, whose members (Miriam, Elaine, Phyllis, and Mary as…

Meet the Officers!

The 149th Glee Club is off to a great start! We welcomed 34 wonderful new members, began rehearsals, and went on a fantastic retreat in northwestern Connecticut. Since not everyone could make it to retreat, this year’s Officer Corps (the group’s student leaders) wanted to virtually introduce ourselves and show that as much as we love Glee Club, there’s more to who we are than our YGC responsibilities.President – Danny Townsend CC ‘10Danny Townsend is a senior in Calhoun, majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Outside of the Glee Club, Danny is a Senior Fellow for the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network and a Yale Tour Guide. Originally from Denver, Colorado, he is an unfortunately poor skier. His favorite bird of prey is the Peregrine Falcon.Manager – Mary Schnoor CC ‘10Mary Schnoor is a Calhoun senior from Brookline, MA. She's majoring in Chemical Engineering and Classics, which is convenient because they're right next to each other in the Blue Book. Aside from singing …

A Photographic Look at Tour: Brazil

A few pictures from our recent time in Brazil.

Overlooking the beach in Copacabana from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.
A snapshot taken during our drive from Rio to Campinas.
The famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

In rehearsal with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and conductor Roberto Minczuk.

A view from atop Corcovado Mountain.
Glee Clubbers and members of the children's choir from the Cidade de Deus before our joint concert.
A view of the beach in the evening.

2009 Summer Tour Reflections: The Creation

Below, Dylan Morris '11 shares his memories of performing Haydn's Creation with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.
When YGC director Jeff Douma outlined the schedule for our South American tour, I was excited to learn that, in addition to performing our “tour repertoire” of a cappella and choral-piano pieces, we would be reprising all of the large choral-orchestral pieces we had learned and performed during the year: Brahms’s Nänie, two short pieces by Mendelssohn, and Haydn’s Creation oratorio. We would be performing The Creation in Rio de Janeiro with the professional Brazil Symphony Orchestra. Before a typical tour concert, the YGC will arrive at the venue the afternoon before the show, and rehearse our a cappella repertoire in the space to get a feel for its particular acoustical quirks and challenges. Putting on a large-scale piece like the Creation meant a different kind of tour schedule; in addition to afternoon concerts and outreach, we now had …

2009 Summer Tour Reflections: Wrapping Up

A poetic look at the end of tour from rising sophomore Julia Myers.
Having sung for the young girls who gave a standing ovation after every song, for the vast audience spilling into the aisles for the Creation, and for the elderly woman who kissed my cheeks with tears in her eyes, repeating “Obrigada” over and over in my ear and so many other things I only wish I could understand, I found myself sitting on the bus back to New Haven with a very heavy feeling. I couldn’t begin to imagine how a group that had just sung Bright College Years in an ill-formed circle at the baggage claim could be dispersing all around the world. But then I settled on what I remembered best about Rio, this one moment when I looked out of the bus window and saw along the shore a line of white ships poised on the glassy water. Their maiden names once painted in blood red were chipped and faded from the burning sunlight…the waves lapped up against their sides like rivulets of cool relief and when they fell awa…

2009 Summer Tour Reflections: Campinas

Below, Cynthia Weaver '12 talks about our days in Campinas, Brazil. After a scenic 9-hour bus ride filled with song, mischief and sleep, the Glee Club arrived in Campinas, home of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, or Unicamp for short. On our first day in Campinas, we gave a concert at Unicamp to a small but enthusiastic audience. After a lunch in the university dining hall, we headed to rehearsal. That evening, the Glee Club enjoyed an American-style pizza dinner with some music students from the university. It was great to get to talk with some local music students, many of whom hope to eventually study music in the United States.The next morning was a free morning, so the Glee Club enjoyed an evening of socializing. After our afternoon rehearsals and some free time at the mall due to drizzly weather, we headed to our evening concert at Igreja Católica Santa Rita de Cássia. The concert was a collaboration with the Unicamp Symphony Orchestra and two local soloists. Our progr…

2009 Summer Tour Reflections: Outreach

In this post, rising junior Emily Howell details our amazing outreach activities with the children's choir from the Cidade de Deus, a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Our outreach with the children’s choir Grupo Vozes da Cidade de Deus, from the Casa de Santa Ana—Cidade de Deus is the City of God slum (favela) in Rio de Janeiro, featured in the movie The City of God—was, for me at least, the most amazing part of an amazing tour.We didn’t go into the dangerous favela, but instead met the children at the Escola SESC, where they performed for us and we for them.The students, who learn various dancing and rhythmic activities from a young age before they join the choir, demonstrated activities from ballet to samba dancing.They even encouraged us to join them in the samba, and kindly didn’t laugh at us (too much, anyway) when we tried to dance along.We sang“This Little Light of Mine” from our tour repertoire together after Jeff taught them the words and the melody.We also sang “Muie Rendera,” …

A Photographic Look at Tour: Argentina

Here are some pictures from the Argentina leg of our recent South American tour. 
A scene from the tango show we saw on our last night in Buenos Aires.
A snapshot of the colorful Argentinean neighborhood of La Boca. 
The 148th Glee Club at the Santa Susana Ranch in Buenos Aires.

Glee Clubbers horseback riding at the ranch.

Gauchos perform at the ranch. If a gaucho snatched a ring (pictured), he gave it to a lucky Glee Club lady in exchange for a kiss.
Cathedral in La Plata, the capital of the province of Buenos Aires.


2009 Summer Tour Reflections: Outreach

In this post, rising sophomore Ben Robbins talks more in-depth about our outreach concert at a Buenos Aires school.
On our first full day in Buenos Aires, we performed an outreach concert at the Colegio del Buen Consejo, a private girls school near La Boca, one of the slums of the area.  We sang our tour repertoire for nearly 250 girls, ages 5--18, in the chapel of the school.  They responded with a lot of enthusiasm, especially to our native Colombian Andres Torres '09, who was translating for Jeff.  After the concert we didn't get to talk much to the girls (the H1N1 outbreak and our group's poor overall level of health made people uneasy) but the director of the school was very appreciative of our visit and performance.  She emphasized the importance of music in the education of the girls, all of whom are from poor families and are sponsored to attend the school.  She explained that music is integrated into the rest of the curriculum so that they can learn a skill to be p…

2009 Summer Tour Reflections: Buenos Aires

The Glee Club just got back from an amazing South American tour to Argentina and Brazil. Below, rising senior Sarah Dewey looks back at our time in Buenos Aires, our first stop. 
"Buenos Aires Capital City" was, as advertised, the Paris of South America, a fact evidenced superficially by the couture and the locals' affinity for their dogs; however, it was clear that here was a city and a nation with great spirit and an easygoing attitude. All of this was visible in the graffiti we passed in each South American city: in Buenos Aires, flights of fancy and colorful characters; scrawled initials in Rio, and in Campinas a kind of cramped Portuguese futhark that covered the struts of every building. Argentineans express themselves in a way that only Argentineans can, as we soon found out when our buses rushed from stop to stop before an organized protest could clog the city streets near the Plaza del Mayo and impede our progress to the hotel.Appropriately, we started off our to…

The 1941 South American Tour, Part 3

Local reaction to the 1941 Glee Club was everywhere overwhelming. Reading Bartholomew's descriptions, it is hard not to be impressed by the continuous enthusiasm of students and audiences. American folk music was especially well received. “Many of them were not aware,” Barty wrote, “that we had any.” The spirituals on the program were often encored; audiences would not let the concert continue until they were repeated.

But this tour was about more than simply choral music. Barty and the Glee Club made great efforts to encourage choral music in South America. Singing, for him, was advocacy for greater cultural interchange between the Americas. Moreover, he saw the importance of musical relationships among universities, and of exchange programs: "These ... students," he wrote, "will dominate the thought and action of the Latin American world for the next forty years."

Many things have changed in the past seven deacdes; some of the problems that the 1941 Glee…

The 1941 South American Tour, Part 2

After their whirlwind stay in Brazil, the Glee Club of 1941 continued south, singing three concerts in Montevideo and five in Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires, they sang a joint concert at the Instituto Nacional de Education Fisica, which had specially formed and organized a chorus for the occasion.

In La Plata, Argentina, their visit had a particularly notable consequence: the founding of the Coro Juvenil at the University of La Plata, which still exists today. The 2009 Glee Club will be privileged to collaborate with the Coro Juvenil during our own visit to La Plata, continuing the tradition of friendship through song.

Leaving Mendoza, Argentina, the 1941 Glee Club had to cross the Andes to Santiago de Chile – in the middle of winter. This episode is best described in Marshall Bartholomew’s own words:
The ride in private motors from Mendoza to Puenta des Vacas at the Chilean border in the high Andes was made hideous by the wild driving of chauffeurs who insisted upon driving at the …

The 1941 South American Tour, Part 1

As we in the 2009 Yale Glee Club prepare for our international tour to Argentina and Brazil, it is fitting to look back on the group’s first visit to South America, in 1941, which was a seminal tour in many ways. Marshall Bartholomew, the Glee Club’s director from 1921-1953, left a vivid and detailed report, which brings the events of 68 years ago to life.

Barty spent the summer of 1940 visiting South America, touring cities and universities and assessing the prospects for a South American tour. He found a great deal of enthusiasm – “an ardent wish … of the universities to organize singing among their students and to establish a singing tradition” – but few university choral groups.

The 1941 tour, therefore, had at its core a mission of outreach. The Glee Club was the first university choir to tour in South America, and its members represented not just themselves, nor even Yale, but American music, and their country. In visits to, and collaborations with, local universities, they served…

2009 Winter Tour Blog Finale: San Francisco

Below, Calhoun Sophomore and YGC Social Chair Emily Howell details the last few days of tour - our final concert, free time in San Francisco, our tour banquet, and the journey home.

Day Six (Wednesday January 7th) and Day Seven (Thursday January 8th): Top Ten YGC Activities to do in San Francisco (arranged chronologically)

10. Admire Grace Cathedral. For those who, like me before this trip, haven’t heard of Grace Cathedral, it’s an Episcopal cathedral that’s one of the pride and joys of the West Coast. (Confirmed by multiple homestays.) After our free time, walking back to our rehearsal call, I come to the top of a hill, see Grace Cathedral for the first time in full view and exclaim, “Is that where we’re singing?”

9. Sing with the International Orange Chorale. The group, directed by Jeremy Faust, shares Wednesday’s concert. We perform almost our full repertoire, the IOC performs about ten minutes worth of beautiful music, and the two choirs sing three pieces together (Georgia Stitt’…

2009 Winter Tour Blog, Day 5: Chico, CA

California native and Trumbull Freshman Cynthia Weaver describes the journey from Eugene to Chico and our concert that evening.

5:45 AM- Wake up, tired from staying up chatting and playing board games with five other glee girls. Answer emails, take a shower, and wonder what I’ll do for the six hours on the glee bus that we have to do today.

7 AM- Packing, Breakfast, our host made us a giant Dutch Baby pancake. Playing with our host’s two daughters, ages 3 and 6. Adorable... makes me want to drop out of Yale to have kids. Or maybe not.

8:41 AM- This bus is the awesome bus (says Casey). As of now everyone is pretty much sleeping. Somehow our projected travel time morphed from 6 hours to 8 hours. So we’ll see. I’m going to try to catch some shut-eye now, too. We’re going to start watching movies at 9 AM, but I’ll probably be asleep by then.

10:15 AM- Casey woke me up at the rest stop... not that I’m bitter or anything. It’s rather cold this morning. We are apparently still in Oregon. I’m goi…

2009 Winter Tour Blog, Day 4: Eugene, Oregon

Below, Sophomore Dylan Morris gives his account of our fourth day of tour.

One YGCer’s Day in Eugene:

6:45am: The YGC wakes up early for the 8:00am bus to Eugene. We’re aiming to arrive midmorning; our director Jeffrey Douma is scheduled to teach a master class at the University of Oregon. We thank our Portland hosts and head to meet the bus.

~8:30am: The Glee Club buses roll out of Portland. Several Glee-ple on my (quiet) bus catch a few extra Zs.

10:45am: The YGC arrives in Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon Ducks. As a former high school cross country runner, I am excited when I spot Hayward Field, the fabled University track and field venue and the site of this past year’s Olympic Trials.

While Jeff is teaching his class, the members of the YGC have a chance to explore the city. YGCers disembark and head off in packs. Fellow YGCer Mari Oye ’11 and I decide to take a running tour of the city that bills itself as Tracktown, U.S.A.

11am-3pm: The YGC explores Eugene. On…

2009 Winter Tour Blog, Day 3: Portland

Today's post comes from Rachel Wilf, a sophomore in Timothy Dwight College.

The Glee Club left Astoria early this morning heading for Portland. On the way we stopped in Seaside, a small beach town on the Pacific coast. Especially for a born Northeasterner like myself, the sight of the wide Pacific in the shadow of snowy mountains was exhilarating. Some Glee Clubbers waded into the (very cold) water and others struck up an impromptu game of ultimate Frisbee—which usually happens when Glee Clubbers have any free space to run around in.

After a bus ride through a snowy evergreen forest, which was definitely a transit highlight for many of us, we unloaded the buses in central Portland. Despite the chilly weather, we set off to explore Powell’s, the biggest bookstore west of the Mississippi—a bookstore as large as a city block, so expansive that you need a map to get around inside. Despite the size of the store, I kept running into other Glee Clubbers in the aisles, giving me a chan…

2009 Winter Tour Blog, Day 2: Seattle/Astoria

Today's post is written by Virginia Calkins, a junior in Pierson College and the 2008-2009 YGC Outreach Chair.

7 a.m. Seattle, WA: the Glee Club wakes up, each in a comfortable home. I embark on a walk with my host and her dog around Seward Park, admiring Lake Washington's beauty.9 a.m. Downtown Seattle: the Glee Club disperses for a few hours of free time to explore the Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, or Rem Koolhaus' brilliance in the Seattle Public Library.11:30 a.m. The Bus: the Glee Club loads the bus for the journey down the coast. We watch The Goonies and debate watching Free Willy, both movies filmed in Astoria. Some gleelings catch some zzzz.2:00 p.m. Liberty Theater, Astoria, OR: the Glee Club arrives in Astoria (pop. 10,000) to discover a wonderful, historical Vaudeville theater. We rehearse, making sure to memorize the few songs we had used music for the previous night.6:00 p.m. The McTavish room of the Liberty Theater: the Glee Club dines on an incre…

2009 Winter Tour Blog, Day 1: Seattle

Last night marked the first concert of tour, at Town Hall in Seattle, Washington. Below is a post from senior Bram Wayman reflecting on the experience.

Tonight, I had a rare and very special experience: I heard the Yale Glee Club in concert. It's not often that we get to hear ourselves sing from the audience's point of view. Once in a while, somebody gets sick, and has to sit out for a concert, but that doesn't leave one in much of a position to listen critically or enjoyably. In my case, airline trouble and delayed baggage left me with no concert attire, and also left me free to see the Glee Club as our audiences see us.

As anybody else in the group can attest, I couldn't stop smiling. I smiled through everything -- the happy pieces, the sad pieces, even the mistakes. At the risk of sounding like one of our parents, I was so proud to see all my friends on stage. After weeks of break and a single, grueling rehearsal, our concert was not just good -- it was strong. We ma…

2009 Winter Tour Blog (Prologue)

Oh, why doth time so quickly fly?
With today marking the beginning of a new year and the first day of tour, it seems like the right moment to reflect briefly on the fall semester. What truly sets the YGC apart is our shared passion for singing and the strong friendships within the group. The earth may be green (YGC apple picking!) or white with snow (YGC caroling!) - but the camaraderie carries on unchanged.
The fall semester has certainly proved that all eighty-four members put the "Glee" in the 148th Yale Glee Club! Each year, in the spirit of friendly rivalry, we play a prank on Princeton's Glee Club during our joint football concert. After stoically bearing Princeton's barrage of orange paper airplanes for several years in a row, some YGC members pooled their engineering and artistic talents to create an eight by eight-foot Yale "paper" airplane, which proved to be (almost literally) a show-stopper. Earlier in the semester, the Glee Club also w…