Yale Glee Club

Reviews and Articles

“Since its founding in 1861, the Yale Glee Club has become one of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous. This is the kind of glee club that has been conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki; it is to the television show “Glee” approximately what the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions are to “American Idol.”

On Friday the group celebrated its 150th anniversary with an exciting, beautifully sung concert at Carnegie Hall. Its director, Jeffrey Douma, didn’t settle for an evening of chestnuts: the program consisted almost entirely of recent works written for the ensemble. From Dominick Argento’s sensitive “Dover Beach Revisited” and James MacMillan’s heartrending “Nemo Te Condemnavit” to Michael Gilbertson’s eloquent “Weep You No More” and Robert Vuichard’s exuberant “Zephyr Rounds,” the group sang with clarity, rhythmic precision and passion.”

- The New York Times (April, 2011)
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“Under the direction of Jeffrey Douma, the sopranos — indeed, all the voices — sang as one instrument, with flawless intonation…their treacherously clustered semitones and contrapuntal subtleties became otherworldly, transcendent even.”

- The Washington Post (January, 2011)
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“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 New Haven Register (February, 2011)
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“The group’s performances in Sweden even included a few songs sung in flawless Swedish, including works from renowned composer Waldemar Åhlén, one of the leading organists of his generation.  And spectators in Adolf Fredrik’s church were treated to a powerful and moving performance”

- The Local, Stockholm (June, 2011)
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“Most musical groups come and go in the course of a few years, if not months, and only the rarest have careers that span decades, let alone centuries. The Yale Glee Club, which now visits Prague for a performance with the Charles University Choir, is the rare exception.”

- The Prague Post (June, 2011)
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“Singing has always been a big part of life at Yale, no matter what you’re studying. The Yale Glee Club dates back to 1861, and over time has attracted a diverse crop of future luminaries.”

- NPR (February, 2011)
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“The Yale choir was filled with fresh voices, well coordinated, closely blended and tuned, producing a genuine treat of sound…The excited audience stood and rewarded the performers with warm applause.”

- Hoy, Domincan Republic (June, 2010)
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“The primarily a cappella repertoire ranged from Palestrina to postmodern — diverse programming is a YGC hallmark. The Recital Hall’s abundant wood acoustical paneling resonated warmly with delicate Renaissance motets, stirring American spirituals and vibrant South African tunes”

- Seven Days, Vermont’s Independent Voice (January, 2008)
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“The Yale Glee Club gave an entertaining, and often musically profound, concert Sunday…it is difficult to pin down exactly what sort of music the Glee Club did best. They excelled at most everything they sang.”

- The Birmingham News (January, 2007)
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“More challenging matter came from the most famous Yale musician, Charles Ives, whose lucid polytonal setting of Psalm 67 held no terrors for these students…Virgil Thompson’s setting of My Shepherd Will Supply My Need was engrossing for its balance and dynamic control, both qualities shown to equal effect later in a carefully honed version of Shenandoah.”

- The Age, Melbourne (June, 2005)
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“The Yale Glee Club took the floor with an impeccable rendition of Gaudeamus Igitur, lots of energy without haste and a wonderfully rich sound from the tenors and basses blending with the warmth and accuracy of the altos and sopranos. The Glee Club’s repertoire spanned songs from the American sacred tradition, contemporary American madrigals, folk songs, new compositions and time-honoured Yale songs…the arresting polytonality of Charles Ives’s ‘The Sixty-Seventh Psalm’ remains my favourite of the Yale offerings for the evening.”

- Artlook, Canberra (June, 2005)
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