Skip to main content

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 highest possible speed on precipitous mountain roads, passing each other with inches to spare and taking every possible chance on accidents. Neither threat nor plea could persuade them to modify this hair-raising pace with the result that what might have been a scenic drive of rare beauty remains in the memory as a nightmare.
The train through the mountain pass was, if possible, worse. Barty continued:
The inadequacy of the railroad station at Puenta des Vacas is, under the circumstances, a menace. Standing at an elevation of almost ten thousand feet the waiting room of the tiny building can contain at the utmost about fifty passengers. There were approximately two hundred … on the day the Yale Glee Club went through the pass; 75% of them were compelled to stand outdoors in a near-zero temperature for two hours waiting for the train to arrive.

Then followed a twelve hour train ride in acute discomfort in a train so crowded that some passengers had to stand up throughout the entire journey. In forty years of travel throughout the world my memories of this journey stand out as one of the most completely miserable.
Two days later a snow storm closed all transportation on this route for ten days.
When the Glee Club reached Santiago, 16 out of 63 singers – a quarter of the group – were out of action. Fortunately, none of the illnesses were serious, and almost everyone recovered for the scheduled concerts in Santiago. In contrast to the extreme cold of the Andes, Barty found Panama City in August “probably … as hot a place to sing a concert in dress suits as one could find in the world.”

Popular posts from this blog

"Yale found its Glee 150 years ago," New Haven Register

An article from Donna Doherty in today's New Haven Register. All photos Arnold Gold/New Haven Register... and a video in the original article here.


NEW HAVEN — It has sung all over the world, survived wars and co-education. Its alums include legendary songwriter Cole Porter, former senators Prescott Bush and James Symington, and peace activist Rev. William Sloane Coffin, so reaching 150 years old seemed cause for celebration.



The Yale Glee Club, the oldest musical organization on campus, has big plans for that occasion, ones which embrace the community and continue through May, including two specially commissioned works, each composer and writer, unbeknownst to the other, choosing to honor the city of New Haven.



“City Song,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and former Yale Glee-er Lew Spratlan and renowned Yale poet Elizabeth Alexander, will have its world premiere at a gala free concert at 5 p.m. Saturday at Woolsey Hall, featuring current Glee Club members and five decades of…

Dead Week Shenanigans

Just in case you were wondering what Glee Club members do during dead week, here is just a glimpse of the festivities! This occurred during a lovely spring afternoon after a bit too much happy frappuccino hour at Starbucks.

War Dreams Concert (Written by Victoria Pierre)

While I thoroughly enjoyed the Bernstein, I decided to make this blog post an extended version of the pep talk I gave before our concert on Friday, in which I talked about Vaughan Williams. Enjoy!

––––

I first encountered this piece when I was 16, as part of a northern Virginia choral association concert. They mailed me the score (which I still have) and gave me a few weeks to learn it before having two rehearsals and then a concert. I still remember trying to learn the music note by note (since I couldn’t sight read back then) listen to a midi file of the soprano I part on repeat. So this is how I encountered Vaughan Williams--a piano midi file. My first impression, especially once I got to “Beat! Beat! Drums!” was….what the heck is this music. I didn’t really understand the poetry, or the war, or any of the context surrounding this piece. All I knew was there was something about a solemn church and a bridegroom and bugles, and something about snorting horses in Dan…the piece was a mys…

Ten Songs of Yale you didn't know about

Bram Wayman '09 delves into the depths of songbooks past. The views shared here in no way represent the official opinion of the YGC Blog nor the YGC... & c. & c. & c.*

Though clear favorites stand the test of time, and the old song books of Yale are full of the high stupidity of yesteryear, a few gems that aren't often — if ever — sung today stand out for me. Some of these songs are beautiful, some hilarious, and some downright offensive, but they all deserve a second look, and I'm not convinced all of them should have fallen out of use. I'm no expert on the history of Yale songs, and have only picked from a few books, but here are ten songs of Yale that still bring a smile to my face.

1. "Old Tom Wilson." TTBB. One of Barty's cleverest arrangements, this piece is a song from the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky. It features vocal banjos, vocal beer-chugging that gets longer each time the jug goes around, lyrics such as "Big fat gals…