The History of the
Virginia Glee Club Alumni & Friends Association
Campaign Victory – In the Fall of 2011, thanks to the kindness of a variety of individuals and donors, pledges and gifts to the Glee Club Endowment passed $1,000,000.
Update: The Virginia Glee Club Wiki
After a year of collecting information, scanning programs, posters, and pictures, and creating hundreds of pages of information, I’d like to welcome you to the Virginia Glee Club Wiki!
The purpose of the wiki is to serve as a common repository for the official history of Club, as well as a place to share communal memories about your Club experience. Anyone can edit the wiki, post pictures, or share stories. There is a framework to get you started: a page for just about every season of the Glee Club’s history from the 1870s on to the present, plus a page for every conductor, for many concerts and tours, and for Glee Club alumni and officers.
The project is still very much a work in progress, so we need your help! Please contribute, either directly on the wiki or by emailing the Historian at email@example.com.
A Note from the Historian:
Here are a few things you might not have known about the Virginia Glee Club: In the first ten years of its existence, the group had Woodrow Wilson as a member. In the 1890s, Club toured all over the south with its banjo and mandolin corps, making it to Atlanta and Birmingham and drawing standing room crowds. One of our members wrote the Good Old Song, though E. A. Craighill (1890s) disclaimed any credit for the first stanza. Around 1905, the group ceased to exist for a few years, coming back in 1910 as a musical theatre ensemble… and performing in drag.
As historian for the Alumni Association, I have published some of the early history of the Club on my personal blog: http://www.jarretthousenorth.com/tag/virginiagleeclub But there’s little published history after 1940, for a number of reasons. That’s where the alumni and friends of the Club come in. The best history of the last seventy years of Club lies with its alumni.
As historian, I’m asking for your help in writing that story so that we can all learn from our shared history. For instance, knowing that Club had to pull itself back out of nonexistence once before in its history helps put some of the experiences of the 1980s and 1990s in perspective.
What are we looking for? I’m particularly interested in stories about your years in Club, and artifacts (photographs, concert programs, posters, phonograph records, etc.). If you have materials or stories about your years with Club, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish the best submissions in upcoming newsletters, and use any materials you can provide to help write the larger history of the Club. We are all historians, after all; the question is, how can others share in and benefit from the history that we carry?
–Tim Jarrett, Class of 1994
The Virginia Glee Club Alumni and Friends Association’s was formed with a mission to enable the Virginia Glee Club to thrive as a core, student-run institution at the University of Virginia, pursuing its dual goals of musical excellence and student fellowship and to allow the Virginia Glee Club to establish itself as a preeminent collegiate men’s chorus in the United States.
We will be adding historical content over time. Do you have any historical facts about the club from your days at UVA? Please share them with us by e-mailing us here.