Alumni Weekend glee

The joy of music this Alumni Weekend

March 25, 2015
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John Delorey, WPI choral music director

The 2014–15 academic calendar year marks 140th year of choral music at WPI. It all began in 1874, when the first glee club gathered to lift its collective voice in song. The WPI Glee Club tradition continues, along with a score of on-campus choirs, a cappella groups, and vocal ensembles making this school a welcoming environment for singers of every stripe and range. This weekend, singers from past and present will come together in three concerts to mark the historic occasion, celebrate the art of song, and showcase their talents.

“It is amazing to think that from almost the onset of this amazing university, that there has been a strong and continuous tradition of music on the campus,” says John Delorey, WPI choral music director. “This year we will celebrate the expansiveness of the choral program with every choral group on campus performing during the weekend.”

Friday night festivities features a state-of-the-art a cappella concert with the four WPI student-run groups performing for the alumni, paralleled with a “brew fest” sponsored by the alums at Delorey’s house, where the concert is streamed live to raise monies for the choral association. Saturday is the alumnae day for Alden Voices, culminating with a performance of Jazz Radio, arranged by John Delorey, with WWII projections and audio compiled by Sarah Roth ’15.

Who: Alden Voices and Glee Club
What: Alumni Weekend
Where: Alden Memorial Hall
For more information: e-mail huaweb@wpi.edu

This year, for the first time, a singer from Alden Voices will be given the Malama Robbins Award. Roth is the recipient. “This honors the senior woman of Alden Voices who has worked to continue and expand the tradition of women singing at WPI,” Delorey says. “It is named for the first director of Alden Voices, a huge inspiration for the arts in Worcester.”

Roth is one of the more active vocalists on campus. She is the director of Audiophiles, president and student conductor of Alden Voices, and secretary of the Choral Association. “I have been an active member of the chorus since coming to WPI,” she says. “The choral program here is one of the main reasons I chose to enroll at WPI over all of my other choice colleges.”

Sunday promises to be an amazing event involving all of the choral singers at WPI, Delorey says. “The concert will include presentation of the Steven J. Kahn Award, given to the senior member of WPI Men’s Glee Club who has most displayed the spirit of the WPI Men’s Glee Club for three years.”

Performances
Choral Alumni Weekend Concert: A Cappella Fest XXI, with Simple Harmonic Motion, featuring guest performers Sound Logic, Audiophiles, Technichords, and special guests Mount Holyoke’s Nice Shoes and UMass Amherst’s Vocal Suspects, Friday, March 27, at 7 p.m.
Alden Voices: Jazz Radio, Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m.
Concert celebrating 140 Years of Music at WPI: Featuring the Glee Club, directed by Professor John Delorey, Sunday, March 29, at 3 p.m.

Connor Michael Haley is president of the WPI Men’s Glee Club. Marking its 140th, he says, “We’ve been celebrating this fact all this past year, including a tour to London this past summer. The Glee Club has a very large repertoire of music, ranging from religious standards to drinking songs to love ballads. My personal favorite is called ‘Brothers Sing On,’ a piece originally from Norway; it’s an anthem to all those who love to sing.”

The current edition of the WPI Glee Club has some 40 members. “This number fluctuates from about 60 to 30 in any given year, depending on interest,” Haley says. “It’s been my experience that every year we have an excellent group that works together well.”

Asked what he will miss most about singing on campus when he graduates, Haley says, “The camaraderie. At its core, the Glee Club is truly a brotherhood of men that care about each other and the music we sing.”

Roth shares the sentiment. “I think what I will miss most is getting to have the nice musical and social break that comes with rehearsals. The women in this chorus are some of my closest friends, and while we sometimes joke and call ourselves ‘sisters in song,’ I think there is a lot of truth to that, and that bond is what I will miss the most as an alumna.”

– By David Sneade