Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meet the 2010 YGC Officer Corps

Welcome to all the fantastic new members of the Yale Glee Club. In keeping with tradition, we offer the following (extremely serious) bios of our officer corps for your edification and amusement.

President – Emily Howell, CC 11

Emily Howell is a senior in Calhoun College, majoring in English. She hails from the charming city of Lynchburg, VA. Having already filled the roles of Social Chair and Tour Manager in the past, Emily is currently the longest serving member of the Glee Club Officer Corps. Other than presiding over the YGC, she spends her free time terrorizing elementary-schoolers with the Yale Children's Theater group, and lending her hunky alto vocals to the Christ Church Choir. Emily Howell is also a computer program developed in the 1990's as an interactive interface that facilitates musical and language communication. Look it up on Wikipedia.

Manager – Rachel Wilf, TD 11

Rachel Wilf is the Manager of the Glee Club and manages to make that job look manageable. She is a senior in Timothy Dwight College and is majoring in History. A native Connecticutian, she has an older sister and a younger brother. When she is not singing alto, Rachel drums with the Konjo African Dance Troupe and writes for Midnight at Yale, an online magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys climbing up mountains, swimming in lakes, looking for sheep, and raising the slogan of Yale triumphant.

Stage Manager – Dylan Morris, BK 11

Dylan Humphrey Morris is a native of the People’s Republic of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is an incurable cross-country runner, and a tenor, except when he’s a bass. Dylan once spent thirty days in the wilderness, among rocks and hills and brooks and vales, but did not remain there forever at rest. He is a senior Ethics, Politics and Economics major in Berkeley College but can talk your ear off about fractal geometry anyway. His job is to make sure you hold your folders in the right hand – that is, your left hand – right?

Social Chair – Jenny Witthuhn, TC 12

Jennifer "Jenny" Leigh Witthuhn (deceptively pronounced Vittoon) is actually Glee Club's Anti-Social Chair, the companion officer to Eli, the Social Chair. She knows all the words to the Lion King, and if she were a Winnie the Pooh character, she would be Piglet: he is small, adorable, and a loyal companion. A junior in Trumbull College, Jenny likes bad TV, chocolate, and puppies (very much), and she does not like mayonnaise. Some stats: she is a psych major, a tour guide, a second soprano, and she has visited 5/7 of the Earth's continents. She plans on sharing her German heritage with the Glee Club this year by wearing a dirndl to Gleetoberfest. If Jenny could befriend any mythical creature, she would choose a unicorn.

Social Chair – Eli Mitchell-Larson, MC 12

Eli Mitchell-Larson, a junior in Morse College, grew up in the forested fiefs around beautiful Portland, Maine and saw his first color television only after arriving at Yale. As the Social Chair of the Glee Club, his primary task is to undo the damage done by his partner Jenny, the Anti-Social Chair, while also promoting a "gleeful" social atmosphere for all involved. When he’s not singing and traveling with the Glee Club or Yale Spizzwinks (?) a cappella group, he enjoys walking his goats and Nordic skiing. As an Environmental Studies Major, Eli thinks all singers should bring re-useable water bottles to each rehearsal so he can borrow them when he’s thirsty.

Publicity Chair – Mari Michener Oye, TD 11

Mari Oye is the Publicity Chair for the Glee Club. She is a senior Political Science and International Studies major from the picturesque town of Wellesley, Massachusetts. At Yale, she can sometimes be seen rollerskiing around campus, which is a public safety hazard. Mari volunteers with Dwight Hall, is one of the founders of the Yale Afghanistan Forum, and spent last summer in Tajikistan learning Persian and making friends with goats. In her spare time, she enjoys shape-note singing and bothering people to write for the YGC Blog.

Archivist – Sam Sanders, CC 12

Sam Sanders, a junior in Calhoun, is majoring in Indecision & Chinese and as Archivist is responsible for keeping your music together, usually involving the use of spreadsheets, mild threats, and baked goods as incentives. Failing that, she will employ Public Shame and/or Predator Drone strikes. Sam works for NASA as a research assistant in the summers (which means things she's made are in space - be afraid), probably plays video games more than you, and used to be a competitive dancer, which involved lots of out-of-character sparkly costumes. She enjoys cooking and feminism, at the same time, and sings in the New Blue, Yale's oldest all-female a cappella group. She is a soprano I for life.

Wardrobe Manager – Ben Robbins, SY 12

Ben "Hot Lava" Robbins is the wardrobe manager of the Glee Club. He is a junior sociology major hailing from Grand Island, Nebraska (pop. 45,000) and members of the Glee Club like that he calls soda "pop." Ben used to be in a show choir called Ultimate Image and will put those skills to use this year as the performance manager for the a cappella group Living Water. Ben has impeccable taste in clothes and on South America tour challenged fellow bass Justin Quam to a modeling walk-off on a Río rooftop involving both swimwear and formalwear portions. Ben won.

Domestic Tour Manager – Arshia Chatterjee, SY 11

Arshia Chatterjee is a Domestic Tour Manager this year as well as a senior in
Saybrook. A native of New Jersey, she is double majoring in Political Science
and Economics. When she is not singing Soprano 2 in Glee Club, she is also
involved with the Hindu Students Council. Her favorite mythical creature is
the hippogriff. She would love to take it on tour with her but is afraid it
won't fit in her suitcase.

Domestic Tour Manager – Abigail Droge, CC 12

Abigail Droge, a junior English major in Calhoun, is Glee Club’s own Southern Belle and domestic tour manager. When not wiling away her time contemplating Pooh, she practices her word-perfect recitation of Sense and Sensibility. Lest you think she is entirely domesticated, please be warned that years laboring on the Yale farm have made her a pretty tough gal. Abigail is a soprano I, and therefore alphabetically first in the YGC roster list, as well as first in our hearts.

International Tour Manager – Kate Carter, SM 12

Kate "Benedict Arnold" Carter has twice deserted the Yale Glee Club to play for the Yale Precision Marching Band in the annual YGC-YPMB football game. Despite or perhaps of because of this, the YGC has triumphed. The rest of the year, however, Kate is a deeply loyal YGCer who sings Alto II, manages tours, and works with Sean in the YGC Office. Outside of the YGC and the Band, Kate is a Dwight Hall public school intern at Barnard Environmental Magnet School in New Haven. A junior in Silliman College, Kate is a student in Yale's teacher prep program with a focus on high school education. She is fluent in French and Iowan.

International Tour Manager – Claire Paulson, DC 12

Claire Paulson is now a junior in Davenport College from Ann Arbor, MI, and has previously been the one of our Domestic Mini-Tour Managers. Her musical experience ranges from high school choir in Iowa to Magevet, a Jewish a cappella group at Yale, which she pitched during her sophomore year. Claire is a Cognitive Science major and a closet trombonist, and is studying Chinese. She also is the proud owner of a rotating disco turtle light.

Outreach Chair – Adam Fishman, SM 13

Adam Fishman, a sophomore in Silliman, hails from Chicago, giving him what he considers perfect, accent-free speech. In fact, he was offered a job recording language learning tapes for children in middle school. Adam's the most enthusiastic math major you'll meet at Yale, but loves a lot more than just numbers. His other passions include China, and music of the African diaspora. His doppelgänger is Owl from Winnie the Pooh. Adam gets 12 hours of sleep a night and is never sarcastic, ever. “You should be able to write much more searing info about me. I'm disappointed,” says Adam.

150th Reunion Chair – Jasmine Dyba, CC 11

Jasmine Dyba, a senior in Calhoun, will be using diplomatic skills learned from Actual Diplomacy to navigate the complicated world of alumni relations as the 150th Glee Club reunion chair. When she isn't talking to our elders, Jasmine takes the time to be environmentally friendly and Epicurean. She has a culinary interest in Winnie the Pooh characters. Jasmine hails from Silver Spring, MD. You can find her in the Glee Club by her stylish glasses, but don't talk to her about cats, especially talking ones, because they creep her out.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Something Auditioning This Way Comes

“Good Morning” from Singing in the Rain is blasting off President Emily Howell’s computer. The door opens. She hits pause. Officers rush to seats in the Glee Club Office, stow half-eaten bagels under chairs, and try to look semi-official and yet not intimidating to freshmen. “Something Auditioning This Way Comes,” says Emily.

I can’t shake the feeling I’m in a reality show. There’s one chair in the center of the room. Kids from West Virginia, South Africa, California, Vietnam, and Long Island are coming in one at a time to say hey, shuffle their feet, and talk music at Yale.

As a cheat sheet to those of you planning to audition in future who may be reading the Glee Club Blog, I offer a set of possible questions you should study up on. We’ll answer some of them ourselves, as a sneak preview of the new officer bios to be posted Monday.


Q: If you could build a house out of any unconventional material, what would it be?
A: “Ice cream sandwiches. They’re kind of like bricks and would be structurally sound.” - Claire Paulson, International Tour Manager

Q: If you could have any mythical creature as a pet or a friend, what would it be?
A: “In my youth, I 100% would have chosen a unicorn, and I’m not entirely sure that would have changed. But dragons are just really cool. Or like, a talking cat. Or something that could fly. I’ve given this a lot of thought.” – Emily Howell, President
Addendum: “But a dragon would be really hard to take care of.” – Emily
“Not if it could go kill its own sheep.” – Kate Carter, International Tour Manager

Q: If you were a Winnie-the-Pooh Character, which character would you be?
A: “I would be Piglet, because Piglet is small and adorable and a loyal companion.” – Jenny Witthun, Social Chair.

Q (from Jasmine, 150th Reunion Chair): If you could eat a Winnie-the-Pooh character, which one would you eat?
A (from auditionee): I’m a vegetarian.
A (From Jeff): “Well, obviously Piglet, right? Piglet would be tender.”
A (from Adam, outreach chair): “You could stew Piglet and Rabbit together.”

Q: Who’s your favorite Disney villain?
A: “Ursula, totally. Because she has the most baller song in all of the Disney movies, she’s modeled off of a drag queen, she’s played by Pat Carrol and she has eels.” – - Kate Carter, International Tour Manager.

After a few hours of this, Rachel Wilf, manager, began accidentally saying “With mychical” instead of “Which mythical creature is your favorite?” This is a clear indication of fatigue and the beginnings of insanity.

Some statistical data gathered over the course of the last two days:

We believe there may be a correlation between those auditionees who chose a dragon and those who chose Tigger; they may be extroverts. Please note that this dataset is not comprehensive… we had one Roo and one wyvern respond after I made the graphs.

Finally, please rest assured that the composition of the 150th Yale Glee Club was not, in fact, determined by these deeply revealing questions, but by the talent, commitment, and musicality singers displayed during auditions.

That said, we remain in awe of the members of the class of 2014 we have met. Between them, they can whistle Clair de Lune, beatbox with only their teeth, make fire by rubbing sticks, win archery championships, jump rope while sitting on the ground, sing the Kings and Queens of England, and memorize 200 digits of Pi. We wish them the best at Yale and in all the years after, and hope they stay as badass as they are now.

We also want to congratulate all the new members of the Glee Club – expect a (more serious) welcome post soon.