The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 12, NO. 3     MAY 1999

Glee Club romance


Now engaged to be married, Mohiuddin "Moe" Khan '93 met Elizabeth Sullivan through joint performances of the WPI Glee Club with the Regis College Choir.

Making music is not the only benefit of the Glee Club experience, according to Ted Dysart '94, who met his wife, Erica, through joint concerts with the Regis College Choir. Through the decades, scores of relationships have developed between singers from WPI and other schools, including Smith, Wellesley, Wells and Wheaton.

"No one realizes that when you belong to an all-male singing group you spend most of your time singing with all-female singing groups!" says Matthew Ronn '90, whose wife, Alison, sang with Wellesley College. "Once a singer discovers what this is all about he has no trouble convincing his roommates to join too."

Otto Wahlrab '54 takes a different view. "First of all let me say that the guys who sang in the Glee Club and the Octet (as I did both) did it for the enjoyment of singing...and they didn't join to meet girls," he says. "After all, we were at WPI to learn engineering and not to get married! No, I didn't meet my spouse while singing. But, there were certainly many other stories that could be told from those days of ancient." One story that Wahlrab shared involved a coed from Lasell Junior College ("She wasn't much of a singer... but loved to sing all night"), a Model A Ford, and an out-of-control slide down a snowy hill in Boston. "We went between a pole and a hydrant with virtually no room to spare. We were young and crazy enough to laugh like the devil and continue on our way."

Close relationships, both platonic and otherwise, seem to flourish between the sexes. Performance groups tend to develop intense bonds, as do sports teams, but without the competition. With music as a common focus, these small-group interactions are less awkward than one-on-one dates.

"Let me tell you, traveling to Wheaton, Wellesley, Regis, Wells, and Smith opened my eyes to feminism and women's studies," says Ronn. "We learned a lot about relationships and respecting those relationships. I'd recommend it to anyone."

Not all encounters were entirely harmonious. Ronn recalls the predicament of one friend, who was seeing a woman at Wheaton and a woman from Wellesley, which was fine until WPI invited both groups to sing a big concert together! Regis graduate Elizabeth Sullivan met her fiance, Mohiuddin "Moe" Khan '93, through the WPI Glee Club, but was reluctant to date him because she thought he was really interested in her roommate. It took Moe 2 hours to talk Elizabeth into a first date.

Many romances that began in the Glee Club have ended with weddings that feature a grand alumni choir. Local alumni keep the feeling alive with a New England-area chorus, which has become coed to include wives and girlfriends.

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Last modified: Tue Jul 13 10:52:17 EDT 1999