Yale Glee Club Celebrates 150 Years in Song

The Yale Glee Club rehearses during Winter Tour 2011 at a church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

From its earliest days as a group of 13 men from the Class of 1863 to its current incarnation as an 80-voice chorus of men and women, the Yale Glee Club has been performing for audiences throughout the nation and around the world.

Now, to mark its century-and-a-half milestone, current and alumni members of the group will raise their voices in celebration in two concerts: on Saturday, February 12, at Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove streets in New Haven; and at a 150th Anniversary Gala on Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Events

Audio Slideshow:
The Yale Glee Club

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The Woolsey Hall performance, which is free and open to the public, takes place at 5 p.m. The concert will feature the world premiere of “City Song” by Lewis Spratlan and Elizabeth Alexander. Composer Spratlan (a graduate of Yale College, Class of 1962) won a 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera “Life is a Dream.” Alexander (a graduate of Yale College, Class of 1984) is a prize-winning poet, essayist and playwright, best known for her poem “Praise Song for the Day,” which she composed and delivered for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Marking its anniversary with a new composition is not an unusual move for the group, which is committed to the creation of new music. The Yale Glee Club frequently premieres newly commissioned works and sponsors an annual competition for young composers. The chorus’ repertoire includes a broad spectrum of choral music from the 16th century to the present, including Renaissance motets, contemporary choral works, world folk music and traditional Yale songs. Click here for audio clips of the Yale Glee Club.

Tickets for the New York Gala on April 8 can be purchased through the Carnegie Hall Box Office.