Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paris, June 14th

Neena Satija '11 writes about our concert at the Sorbonne.

Even though my undergraduate career technically ended in May, I'd like to think that this tour extends it by a few precious weeks. So, tonight I sang my final concert as an undergraduate member of the Yale Glee Club - and I couldn't have imagined a better send-off than this.

The Sorbonne Amphitheatre is a breathtaking space to sing in. It's large enough for a sizeable audience, but not so large that singers onstage can't connect with members of the audience by looking into their faces. We were watched over on all sides by statues of great French thinkers, including Richelieu, Descartes, and Lavoisier (who sports a particularly solemn look, but was probably looking at us with the most intensity out of all of our stone spectators). The house was nearly full. And we all sang with the acute awareness that we were singing many songs for the last time -- songs that had been near and dear to some of us for more than four years. It was especially emotional for me to sing Robert Vuichard's "Zephyr Rounds", which we had learned for the first time during my freshman year, as well as Glee Club favorites like "Shenandoah." But perhaps the hardest song to sing without shedding some tears was "Red River Valley," a beautiful arrangement by our very own director that I heard for the first time when I visited Yale during Bulldog Days.

Jeff has always warned us that audiences on tours are hit-or-miss; it's hard to tell who will show up and how enthusiastic they will be. But he's also always told us that if we can make an impact on just ten people, that would be far more valuable than sending away 500 people who'll forget the concert as soon as they leave. Tonight, though, I'd say we got the best of both worlds - a large audience that was clearly appreciative. As we left the stage, they stood and clapped for so long that Jeff and Emily ran back onstage quite a few times; we'd actually sung our entire tour repertoire, so an encore was hard to come by. But finally, Jeff decided on the old Glee Club favorite "Little Lamb." I've rarely seen a more excited audience.

I'm thrilled that our tour isn't over yet, but it really hit me tonight that I'll never spend time like this with the Glee Club again. Well, we'll always have Paris.

Photos: Awesome shot of the Eiffel Tower, courtesy of Peter Thompson '12, and a restaurant called "Gaudeamus."