Yale Glee Club to feature new works at Friday’s concert

Yeji Kim

1:52 am, November 19, 2021

Contributing journalist

Tenzin Jorden, collaborating photographer

The Yale Glee Club will return for its second concert of the year on Friday to showcase new works and sing several Yale classics.

The YGC successfully closed a fundraising concert on October 29, raising over $ 4,000 for the nonprofit Save the Music with around 250 people in attendance and hundreds more watching online. This Friday at 7:30 p.m., the YGC will be giving its second live concert since February 2020.

“We try to program a wide range of choral repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, representing a wide range of composers, genres, periods and styles,” YGC director Jeffrey Douma wrote in an email to News. “And of course, we hope that the music we choose is both rewarding for our singers and meaningful for our audience.”

This concert will feature world premieres of newly composed works, older choral works and YCG classics such as the Football Medley. The concert title, “The Song You Raised Will Ring”, appears in the lyrics of the song “Because You Sang” – composed by Arianne Abela with lyrics written by Ruthie Prillaman – which the Glee Club will perform.

The YGC collaborated with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Yale Bands on Project 14, an initiative created earlier this semester involving the premieres of 10 new works, all by composers of color. The YGC will perform two of these works at Friday’s concert: “Paradise” by Angélica Negrón and “Meditations” by Joel Thompson.

YGC President Aria Falcone ’22 explained that “Because You Sang” was written to celebrate 50 years of coeducation at Yale. The play was supposed to be performed last spring but has been delayed due to the pandemic. Instead, YGC members and alumni made a virtual recording of the play.

“The Song You Raised Will Ring” also refers to the title of a piece composed by Douma called “Raise Your Voices”.

“In [Douma’s] song, one of the most lush moments occurs when the choir sings “but still the song sounds.” Falcone said.

Falcone added that while writing the text for “Because You Sang”, lyricist Ruthie Prillaman used the phrase “songs ringing” to tie the two tracks together.

The YGC will premiere works by Arianne Abela, director of the choral music program at Amherst; Angélica Negrón, composer and multi-instrumentalist; Isaac Lovdahl, music director of the Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead, MN and Shruthi Rajasekar, composer and singer.

“I really love Shruthi Rajasekar’s ‘A Heart In Port’ – a piece she wrote for two Yale Glee Club alumni who got married this summer,” said YGC member Sam Ahn ’24. “It moves me every time we sing it; he has such beautiful melodies.

The text of “A Heart In Port” is a poem by Emily Dickinson, and the score program notes that the piece goes beyond the traditional explanations of the poem to a “who believes that love is fleeting”.

Other works that will be performed this Friday span several periods and various choral traditions. In addition to contemporary works, the repertoire includes pieces such as Ave Maria by Canadian-American composer Nathaniel Dett and Regina Caeli Laetare by Portuguese composer Vicente Lusitano. The Yale Glee Club Chamber Singers – an 18-24 member ensemble of the YGC – will sing three selections: Love Bade Me Welcome, O Praise the Lord and The Sixty-Seventh Psalm.

After a YGC member tested positive for COVID-19, uncertainty arose as to whether the concert would still take place. On Thursday evening, the YGC decided to go ahead with the concert on the scheduled date after discussions with health and safety officials from the Dean’s Office at Yale College. All members were tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Members of the Yale community who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and are not symptomatic can watch this concert live at Woolsey Hall on a first come, first served basis. The concert will also be broadcast live.

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