Skip to main content

Notes on Mini-Tour

Junior Rachel Wilf describes our January weekend tour to Philadelphia.

I have to admit, when I heard that Glee Club wasn’t having a winter tour I was disconsolate. Glee Club tours have given me some of my favorite memories of Yale. How could a “minitour” possibly live up to past trips? For all my reservations, our minitour to Philadelphia completely won me over. For those of you who didn’t get the chance to join us, here were some of the highlights from our time in the City of Brotherly Love:

On Saturday morning we had free time to wander around our hotel in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. I took a walk to Rittenhouse Square, while others visited some of the many downtown museums. Groups went to the Franklin Institute of Science, the Academy of Fine Arts, and to the Mutter Museum. The group that went to the Mutter museum came back with the best stories, since the museum features all things human and odd (if you ever want to see over 2,000 items that have been “swallowed and removed” from the human body, this is the place for you).

In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to have a workshop with students at the Settlement Music School. The Music School is in an airy, beautiful building and draws students from the Philadelphia area and New Jersey. We had a chance to listen to the students perform and to spend some time talking with them about college, music, and where to get the best Philly cheese steak.

The definite highlight of the trip for me was our concert at The Microsoft High School of the Future, a charter school in West Philadelphia. The Glee Club performed alongside two Yale a cappella groups, Red Hot & Blue and The New Blue, and the fantastic St. Thomas More Gospel Choir. I can’t quite describe the sound of the gospel choir except to say that they had the entire auditorium clapping by the end of their set. During our performance we got the chance to return to some of our most beautiful music from the fall semester, including “Weep You No More” and “Ye Shall Have a Song.”

Saturday night we were welcomed into the homes of Yale alumni in the Philadelphia area. My hosts took us out for delicious Japanese food in a futuristic restaurant called “Pod,” where colored buttons on the walls allowed you to change the mood lighting in the room. My host was a Glee Club alum who told us stories about singing on the stage of Carnegie Hall in the 1980s.

After a restful night we reconvened in the morning in the historic district of Old Philadelphia for a morning of (somewhat rainy) sightseeing. After a brief stop at the Liberty Bell and a final Philly cheese steak for lunch, we got back on the buses to head home to Hendrie Hall.

During our weekend in Philly we had time for bus games and sightseeing, for workshops, concerts, and homestays. Most importantly, we had the chance to spend time with each other. I got to talk with Glee Clubbers I already know and love as well as many of our (fantastic) new members. Here’s to a great start to the semester!

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…

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…

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.

Tour Memories from our 154th Season

This past spring, the 154th Yale Glee Club spent a whirlwind ten days in Spain, bringing concert masterpieces and Yale favorites to audiences across the Iberian Peninsula. Glee Clubbers were able to take a five-hour head-start on Spring Recess as we boarded the buses to head for JFK International Airport and our first stop, Barcelona! With only a few mishaps along the way, we finished our day of travel with Flamenco and tapas at our welcome dinner. The spectacle was mesmerizing, and jaws dropped as proud women and swashbuckling men performed the traditional Andalusian dance, which to my untrained eye looked a lot like a Spanish version of tap dancing with extra flare. Following a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, we joined the Cor Jove Amics de Granollers, a local choir of college-age students, at the church in Castello d’Empuries. As we would learn throughout the trip, nearly every small town in Spain has a magnificent, medieval church, and Castello d’Empuries was no dif…