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15 November, 2017
Warm greetings from New Haven and from all of us in the Yale Glee Club!
After bidding farewell last summer to our beloved Class of 2017 - plentiful in talent, spirit, and in number - we welcomed 34 wonderful new singers to our ranks in September. We've had a great semester together so far and have just finished what will likely be the busiest week of our year. Following Saturday's Family Weekend concert, we jumped into orchestral rehearsals with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra for Thursday performances of Brahms' Schicksalslied and Alto Rhapsody and Beethoven's monumental Symphony #9. The next day, we jumped on a bus to Princeton for our annual joint concert with the Princeton Glee Club, and this week we welcome the Harvard Glee Club to campus. The students will have earned their Thanksgiving break!
Much remains in store for the year, notably the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer (and Yale School of Music alum) Caroline Shaw's expanded version of Music in Common Time with the YSO in February, a performance in March of Mendelssohn with Grete Petersen, conductor of the world renowned Norwegian Soloists Choir, and a repeat performance of the Beethoven together with Chichester Psalms for the Bernstein centennial year with Marin Alsop and the Yale Philharmonia in April.
We also look forward to what promises to be a historic tour to Mexico in March. We will be collaborating in joint concerts with many local choirs, including the Mexico City based youth choir Schola Cantorum, as well as university choirs from Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla. We plan to take part in a service project with Nuetros Pequeños Hermanos, and to bring funds collected at our Harvard concert to aid in earthquake relief. Our collaboration in Mexico City with Staccato Coro Universitario in Mexico City will be reciprocal; we have invited them to perform at Yale in June at the third Yale International Choral Festival, where they will be joined by Iran's Tehran Vocal Ensemble and Germany's Ensemble Cantissimo, along with the Young People's Chorus of New York City, Yale Choral Artists, and Yale Alumni Chorus (stay tuned for details about how you can take part!).
As Marty mentioned in his accompanying letter, we are also excited to be offering this year a brand new yearlong fellowship for graduating seniors. Modeled in many ways on the Cohen Public Service Fellowships, the Yale Glee Club Service Through Music Fellowship will support a graduate who will spend a year devoted to an ambitious project combining music and service.
We are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of generations of Glee Club alumni who have made possible all of this and more. There are many worthy causes out there to support, but if you find that the Yale Glee Club is one you can support this year, your gift will be greatly appreciated and we pledge to put it to good use.
Yours in song,
November 15, 2017
Dear Alumni Singers,
As I write this letter, Facebook is reminding me that just one year ago we were singing and celebrating the 155th Anniversary of the Yale Glee Club. We just learned that the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) will recognize our weekend together as last year's Outstanding Reunion or Event at the upcoming Alumni Assembly. We always knew these were special events - now the secret is out. What a wonderful time it was to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and celebrate the way we know best - in song. Thanks to all of you who made this possible.
Since then, we have continued to find ways to sing together. Alumni hosted the Yale Glee Club in Washington, DC earlier this year as part of their mini tour, feted singers to a "local" singing dinner where we welcomed outgoing Seniors into the YGCA, and assembled a local alumni chorus to join the YGC in concert to sing several songs. Alumni gathered in Milton, MA in March for the annual choral festival and in New York City in May for a Day of Singing. Finally, many of us joined the Yale Alumni Chorus Spirit of Song Tour in Toronto this past August. We look ahead in 2018 to our annual Singing Dinner at the Yale Club of New York City in April as well as YAC participating in the Yale International Choral Festival this June in New Haven.
Your YGCA Board met just a few weeks ago in New York and our discussions reminded us of the breadth of activities in which the Yale Glee Club regularly is engaged, recounted by Jeff in his separate letter. The Glee Club continues to commission new musical works, collaborate with renowned guest conductors, tour domestically and internationally, and sing at some of the best concert venues in the world. And throughout the year students will share in experiences that will be with them for a lifetime. Jeff and the Glee Club also continue to inspire choral singing through support for Yale's 2018 International Choral Festival, awards to emerging composers, award of a summer arts fellowship which has given birth to New Haven's Morse Chorale, and the introduction this fall of a year-long fellowship to a graduating senior to use choral music to foster understanding between people and bring about positive social change.
Each of these opportunities and experiences are made possible through your generosity and support. To that end, my request to you is a simple one. We ask for your financial support with whatever amount you can share. Please help us continue to sustain and grow the Yale Glee Club's great choral tradition for current and future students, a legacy evident in each of us whenever "We Meet Again Tonight" as we did last year in New Haven and will again on April 7, 2018 for our annual Singing Dinner in New York.
Yours in song,
Marty Brennan '87
President, Yale Glee Club Associates