Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meet the 151st Glee Club Officers!

As the Beethoven excitement has died down, we’ve finally settled into a routine, and are now getting ready for our Family Weekend Concert. In the mean time, we’d like to share a little background info on this year’s officer corps! These bios have been confirmed to be 100% accurate.

Abigail Droge, YGC manager and a senior in Calhoun College, has three secrets. First of all, when she's not delving into Donne, Dickens, and Dickenson in pursuit of her English degree, she enjoys full-contact farming on the Yale farm and giving voice lessons to squirrels. Secondly, while Abigail's sweetness is no secret to the Glee Club, few know that her family can trace its history all the way back to a certain culinarily-inclined inhabitant of Drury Lane. (This may also account for why she is forever offering us baked goods.) Finally, Abigail's secret to wrangling the schedules of 80+ people with such effortless competence? When we ask, she just smiles and goes to pull some fresh brownies out of the oven. The world may never know.


Connor “Boobie” Kenaston (social chair) hails from a town that no one has ever heard of in the lovely state of West Virginia. His biggest life moment was when Yale Professor John Gaddis showed a video of a Cold War bunker located “literally five minutes away” from Connor’s house. Recently, Connor got his first haircut in almost a year. When he is not busy being the captain of every IM sport at Yale, Connor spends all of his extra time planning social events for the glee club as part of the Connor-Connor social squad. His favorite entertainer is the illustrious David Hasselhoff.


Connor Buechler (social chair) has a beard. This beard gives him strength, courage, and shelter from the rain. At the age of 13, Connor befriended mountain goats who taught him the art of growing fierce beards. He utilizes his beard to entice Glee Clubbers to come to social events, but also to intimidate the smelly blokes of the Harvard Glee Club. But there is more to Connor than his dominance of “beard-dom:” Connor’s a Mississippian. Because the two social chairs share the same first name, most Glee Clubbers simply call Connor Buechler by his nickname, “awesome-mcawesome-awesome.”


Marisa Karchin (publicity chair) was born at the ripe old age of zero in the deceptively tall metropolis of Short Hills, NJ on February 4, 1992. From a very young age, she felt a special connection to bullfrogs, the original inspiration for her vocal style. She is well known for her unique interpretations of major works by such famous artists as Mendelssohn, Faure, Debussy, and P!nk, and loves jumping jacks, furry clothing, and bananagrams.


Stephanie Tubiolo is a sophomore in Silliman, majoring in music. She is the stage manager, but also unofficially the mother of the glee club, providing the glee club with PB&J and snacks in the hardest of times (namely, 5am flights across the country). When she’s not at rehearsal for one of the 7354983721 choruses she sings in, she can be found playing viola, and sharing her talents with children in New Haven through the Music in Schools Initiative. If you help her set up chairs before rehearsal she will reward you with cookies and everlasting love.


Sam Sanders is our beloved archivist, making her the first glee clubber in its 151 years to hold the same officer position three times in a row. A Calhoun senior majoring in Chinese, Sam hails from Huntingtown, Maryland. When she isn't lovingly stuffing glee clubber's binders with beautiful music or singing as a Soprano 1, Sam also sings with Whim 'n Rhythm, where she is the soprano section leader. The YGC is currently trying to get every glee clubber to promise that they will never lose their music again in the hopes of persuading Sam to keep her record growing and remain our archivist for the 152nd season.


Miriam Lauter's boundless kindness, embodiment of Glee, and stunning alto voice make her a fabulous member of the YGC officer corps, but it is her keen fashion sense that makes her our wardrobe-manager-extraordinaire. Every finely-pressed tuxedo collar and luscious flowing hemline you see on a Glee Club member this concert season will be her doing. Outside of YGC, Miriam enjoys expressing her lovely alto-ness in Magevet, saving the world through research, communicating her brilliance in both Chinese and Hebrew, and being awesome at life. Our very own wardrobe superhero will solve any and all wardrobe problems! Just don't ask her to tie your bowtie.


Ari Susu-Mago, a.k.a. Fuzzy Mango, a.k.a. the Glee Club’s outreach chair, stands out in the glee club for being best friends with a monocled velociraptor. An aspiring Young Adult (YA) novelist, she is widely known for her wit, warmth, and enthusiasm for life. We all miss her dearly in the month of November, when she disappears to write 50,000 words in a month as part of NaNoWriMo. She loves tea, Phillip Pullman, interrobangs, and M.U.F.A.S.A., the Multiverse Undergraduate Fantasy And Science-fiction Association. The raptor’s name is Fred.


Peter Thompson (tour manager) is a junior studying music and religion. When he is not singing or planning Hawaiian festivities, Peter likes to count the number of fish in lakes, people-watch for hours on end, and cuddle with a large stuffed animal wolf. His playlists consist of 65% MJ, 30% Britney, and probably some Beethoven and Wagner. If Peter were wardrobe manager, he would reverse tye-dye all of our dresses and tuxes. Fortunately or unfortunately, Peter is not wardrobe manager. However, he is often seen stylishly sporting toe shoes, and watching the sun set over New Haven through his floor-to-ceiling windows. He also draws a mean exclamation mark.


Cynthia Weaver, a San Diego native, is using her knowledge of SoCal to plan a very exciting California portion of this year's Glee Club tour. It probably doesn't hurt that she's a senior Cognitive Science major, either: she knows enough about people's minds to be able to coax the managers of any venue into welcoming us. Cynthia is planning to put her cog sci know-how to less nefarious use, however, when she graduates. Her interests lie at the intersection of cognitive science and the law, and she intends to go to law school to further explore the connection. When she isn't busy planning tour or thinking about the nature of intellectual property, she works at the Yale Music Library and for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.


And now we would like to share with you the tale of how Claire Paulson became President of the Glee Club:


Claire lived in the midst of the great Iowa prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room. There was no cellar—except a small hole dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path.


Though Claire loved Iowa, she found the semi-regular onslaught of cyclones tedious, and she decided to run away from home.


Now, Claire knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place.


She planned very carefully; she saved her allowance, stuffed the money and some clean clothes in her trombone case, and she chose her companion. She chose Minnaloushe, her cat. He could be counted on to be quiet, and now and then he was good for a laugh.


After several days on the road, Claire happened upon a small valley, but as she entered everything changed. The wind no longer rustled the leaves, the car no longer squeaked, and Minnaloushe no longer purred. Not the slightest thing could be heard.


"WELCOME TO THE RED RIVER VALLEY OF SOUND" read a large placard some ways down the road. In her confusion, Claire hardly noticed that she had entered a large crowd of people, all holding signs which proclaimed:
"DOWN WITH SILENCE"
"IT'S LAUDABLE TO BE AUDIBLE"


And one enormous banner stated simply:
"HEAR HERE".
Claire tried to call out to the protesters, but of course, her voice made no sound. As she did, four more placards announced:
"LISTEN LOOK CAREFULLY"
"AND WE, THE MEMBERS OF THE YALE GLEE CLUB"
"WILL TELL YOU"
"OF OUR TERRIBLE MISFORTUNE"


While two YGC-ers held up a large whiteboard, a third, writing as fast as she could, explained why there was nothing but quiet in the Red River Valley of Sound.


"At a place in the valley not far from here," she began, 'where winds of night around us sighing, in the elm trees murmured low,' there is a great stone fortress called Hendrie Hall, and in it lives the Soundkeeper, who rules the glee club. The Soundkeeper used to let us raise our voices here, and we'd let melody flow wherever we'd go. But slowly she began to keep more and more of the music for herself, until we were left with no sound at all."


"You must visit the Soundkeeper and bring from the fortress one sound, no matter how small, with which to load our cannon. For, if we can reach the walls with the slightest noise, they will collapse and free the rest."


So brave Claire marched up the steps of Hendrie Hall. "Knock, knock," she wrote neatly on a piece of paper, which she pushed under the crack. In a moment the great portal swung open, and a gentle voice sang out:
"Right this way; I'm in the office."


Ushering Claire in the, Soundkeeper said, "Every song the glee club has ever sung is kept here."
"That's wonderful," said Claire. "May I have one little song as a souvenir?"
"Certainly not!" exclaimed the Soundkeeper. "Glee clubbers don't always make beautiful music you know. Sometimes they are noisy and talkative. If they won't make the sounds that I like, they won't make any."
"But---" Claire started to say, and it got no further than that. For while she was about to say that she didn't that that that was quite fair, she suddenly discovered the way she would carry her little sound from the fortress. In the instant between saying the word and before it sailed off into the air she had clamped her lips shut--and the "but" was trapped in her mouth, all made but not spoken.


Claire quickly hurried back to the waiting glee clubbers, and loaded the little sound into their cannon. From far away they heard a faint "but," and then a mighty crash, as the Soundkeeper's walls came a-tumblin' down.


Then the Glee Clubbers burst out into song, and strains of
"Brave and gallant Claire Paulson..." and "It's Claire, It's Claire..." could be heard the valley round.


The Glee Club made Claire their President, and from that day forward, were free to make music whenever they chose.


My apologies to
L. Frank Baum,
E. L. Konigsburg,
and Norton Juster