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Glee club fall show a success

Analise Lipari | Sunday, November 6, 2005

Despite its short history, the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts has already played host to several big name and national performers. But Friday night, none other the beloved and home-grown Notre Dame Glee Club took the stage, playing its latest concert to a full house of both longtime devotees and first-time listeners.

Dressed in their traditional tuxedos and white gloves, the Glee Club members performed a refreshing blend of classic pieces and modern hits. No genre proved too varied for these performers, as they sang both “Ave Maria” and Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” in the show’s second half. This versatility is one aspect of the group’s likeability and on-campus appeal.

“I loved the show,” freshman Meghan Shaughnessy said. “It provided a mixture of classic songs with contemporary music.” The blend of Glee Club standards such as “Darkness on the Delta” and newer selections like “Ain-A That Good News” shook up any of the audience’s preconceived expectations for the evening.

The show’s first half consisted of more serious selections, such as a musical version of William Butler Yeats’ “An Irish Airman.” While the series of Latin American pieces were interesting, they proved somewhat less entertaining than the second half of the concert.

A different selection of wartime pieces, such as “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye” and “Prayer of the Children,” lent an aura of tradition and nostalgia to the show. Overall, however, the more solemn tone of the show’s first half works made the concert’s earlier portion somewhat less engaging.

Opening with a series of folk songs and spirituals, the concert’s second portion changed the tone of the entire concert. The clear harmonies of the spirituals lent to an atmosphere of silent reverence, as “Daniel Saw the Stone” and “Farewell My Friends” left the audience marveling at the beauty and power of the club’s voices and range.

A bit of fun was also thrown in by the interjection of performances of smaller groups within the Glee Club. A quartet known fondly as the Wookies performed a selection from the Jungle Book, “What Friends Are For,” garnering laughter and applause. A different offshoot, the popular Undertones, performed the Maroon 5 ballad “She Will Be Loved” flawlessly. These pieces added another layer of fun and interest to the fall concert, proving to be major highlights of the two-part evening.

The Glee Club has been under the direction of conductor Daniel Stowe for the past 12 years, and has continued to garner recognition and success under his leadership. The group, in existence since 1915, performs locally, nationally and even on the international level in multiple tours and concerts.

While this latest show at the DPAC was somewhat less prestigious than their performance with the Jerusalem Symphony, the high standards of their performance regardless of the venue display their skill and professionalism to an appreciative audience.

“[The concert] was amazing,” freshman Michelle Garber said, echoing the feelings of many of the concert’s attendees. “Not only were their voices beautiful, but the choice of music was entertaining.”

Closing with the ultimate musical standard, the “Notre Dame Victory March,” the concert proved to be a successful evening for the hardworking and talented men of the Glee Club.