|Years active 1868–present|
Members Director Robert Isaacs
Albums Echos from the Walls
Genre Classical music
|Genres Choral, classical, etc.|
Origin Cornell University, New York, United States (1868)
Associated acts Cornell University Chorus, The Hangovers
Similar The Hangovers, Cornell Big Red Marching, Scott Tucker, Cayuga's Waiters, University of Michigan Men's Gle
Ave maria the morehouse college glee club and cornell university glee club
The Cornell University Glee Club (CUGC) is the oldest student organization at Cornell University, having been organized shortly after the first students arrived on campus in 1868. The CUGC is a sixty-member chorus for male voices, with repertoire including classical, folk, 20th-century music, and traditional Cornell songs. The Glee Club also performs major works with the Cornell University Chorus such as Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Handel's Messiah, and Bach's Mass in B Minor.
- Ave maria the morehouse college glee club and cornell university glee club
- International tours
- Commissioning Endowment
- The seal
- The Hangovers
- Earlier subset history
- The Sherwoods
- Notable CUGC alumni
The CUGC has performed as an ensemble in twenty-five different countries.
The Glee Club has given the world and American premieres of many works for male chorus, written by a variety of notable composers.
World premieres include works by:
American premieres include works by:
In 2005, the Glee Club established the Thomas A. Sokol Commissioning Endowment in recognition of the 75th birthday of Director Emeritus Thomas Sokol. The proceeds help fund an annual commission from a well-known composer of a new work (or works), typically premiered by the Glee Club during the fall Homecoming weekend concert. Sokol Commission recipients to date include:
Adopted as the official emblem of the Glee Club by Thomas A. Sokol shortly after he became director, the CUGC seal features the head of Apollo, the Greek god of music and poetry. It also recalls the well-known glee Glorious Apollo by Samuel Webbe.:261–262
"The excellent impression made by the 60 young men was of a finely finished vocalism from beginning to end of their a cappella program."Robert P. Commanday, music critic of The San Francisco Chronicle from 1965 to 1993, in a San Francisco Classical Voice review of the Glee Club's performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on January 8, 2011.
"Throw out all stereotypes. The Cornell University Glee Club has developed a virtuosic choral sound that has far more in common with the King's Singers than 40 guys with a keg."Alfred Thigpen of the Washington Post in a review of the Glee Club's performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on January 9, 2010.
"I want to send you my heartiest congratulations on your superb singing...I do not exaggerate when I say you made choral history, and I hope sincerely that before long we can again make music together."Eugene Ormandy, in a letter to the Glee Club and Chorus, after conducting a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony by the Glee Club, Chorus, and Philadelphia Orchestra on October 9th and 10th, 1962.:130
"This is the most exciting moment in my eight years as Governor of New York."Nelson Rockefeller after hearing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed by the Cornell Glee Club, Chorus, and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Eugene Ormandy for the opening of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, August 4, 1966.:131
The Hangovers, established in 1968, have been the official a cappella subset of the Glee Club for over forty years. The Hangovers' repertoire consists mainly of popular songs arranged for a cappella by members and alumni of the group, but they also perform traditional Cornell songs, as well as selections from the Glee Club repertoire on occasion.
The Hangovers have two major on-campus concerts every year, one in the Fall and one in the late Spring. The Fall concert has been named Fall Tonic since 1980, while the spring concert (produced since 1993) is known as Happy Hour.
Performances and tours take place around campus, around the country, and around the world. These efforts are undertaken in addition to the performances and travels that Hangovers members are also involved in as members of the Glee Club (see above). The Hangovers' first solo tour was to Bermuda in 1971, with subsequent tours undertaken to Antigua, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland. The ensemble also records periodically, and has released thirteen albums.
Earlier subset history
Prior to The Hangovers, the Glee Club spawned several spinoff a cappella subsets in the second half of the 20th century as collegiate a cappella emerged as a popular form of music.
First appearing at the Glee Club's 1956 fall concert, The Sherwoods of Cornell gained prominence quickly among collegiate musical groups. They took their name from Sherwood B. "Woody" Bliss, Cornell class of 1958. They embarked on their first international tour in the summer of 1957 (with an itinerary including Hawaii and the Far East) and by 1958, they were a successful act in great demand both on and off campus.:242 This enormous success came at a price, however, and led to conflicts with the Glee Club, which had nominally remained The Sherwoods' parent organization during these formative years. In the fall of 1958, the two organizations split officially. Glee Club director Thomas Sokol later recalled that The Sherwoods had been "twelve of [his] best singers," and that losing them was a difficult—but necessary—step for both organizations.:242
The Sherwoods toured extensively, traveling to Hawaii, the Far East, Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, and Jamaica and on two extensive tours for the USO, entertaining troops in the Philippines, and throughout Germany (1964). They commonly wore dark (Sherwood) green jackets and ties for performances. Rather than sing stock arrangements, The Sherwoods wrote their own. They were known for rich 6-8 part harmony music unique among other a cappella groups of their time. Four members accounted for most of their arrangements: Jack Wade '58, Frank Holden '62, Fred Kewley '65, and Dan Murray '70 whose arrangements are numerous on the final Sherwood LP, "Green" (1971). Holden (resident of Duxbury, MA) and Kewley (a manager of music professionals in Nashville, TN) are now both music directors for two large groups of alumni Sherwoods they call "The Founders" (singers from classes of '58–'63) and "The Youngers" (singers from classes of '64–'74). Kewley succumbed to pancreatic cancer on June 23, 2013. Eighteen of his Sherwoods traveled to Nashville, TN to join family and friends in a memorial service to honor him. Taking Kewley's place as Sherwoods music director is David Hunter '68. Ron Johnson '68 continues on as business manager. The group intends to continue singing at Cornell's annual reunion each June, and elsewhere, upon demand.
The popularity of a cappella singing faded for a period in the early 1970s and The Sherwoods stopped auditioning new members in 1973. 1973 also marked the final year in which the Sherwoods were featured in The Cornellian, Cornell University's annual year book.:242
In 1985 The Class of '65 invited the 'Younger' Sherwoods back to Cornell to entertain them at their 20th reunion. It was the first time in twenty years The Youngers had met to re-learn their songs and practice their entertaining introductions. The 'Younger' Sherwoods have been returning to Cornell's Ithaca campus to perform at reunions every year since 1985, celebrating their 26th annual shows in 2010, once again entertaining the Class of '65, this time at the class's 45th reunion.:242
The 'Founders' Sherwoods gather at various times during the year, continuing to practice and perform the repertoire they sang during their era at Cornell. Between the two Sherwoods groups there are about 45 active Sherwood singers performing today.
The Sherwoods released seven albums during their undergraduate years; more recently they have produced two re-mastered compilation CDs entitled "Try to Remember - The Reunion Album" and "Old Friends". The Sherwoods continue to look for opportunities to perform. Business manager is Ron Johnson '68 of Hingham, MA.
Noted hit singer/songwriter Harry Chapin sang with the Sherwoods for several years, writing two songs performed by the group, 'Let me Down Easy' and 'Winter Song'. As an undergraduate, Chapin was preoccupied with his prolific songwriting, and he eventually dropped out of Cornell University to focus on his early career as a successful singer-songwriter. In 1971 Fred Kewley, Sherwood musical director, became Chapin's manager through the best years of his career, from landing the recording contract with Elektra through his hits Taxi, WOLD, and Cats In The Cradle, etc., and the hundreds of concerts around the USA and Europe his music spawned.
Notable CUGC alumni
Waitin' for the Dawn of Peace
Ride the Chariot