The Yale Glee Club will soon be celebrating 150 years of “tradition in art, and friendship.”

The club initially began in 1861 its journey with 13 members but is today one of the biggest singing groups on Yale’s campus with more than 80 participants, said Glee Club President Emily Howell ’11. This weekend, they will hold a bash to commemorate their 150th anniversary. The event will feature a concert open to the public with current Glee Club members and alumni performances, Howell added. In addition, the Yale Glee Club will perform with the cast of the hit television series Glee and members and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at a benefit concert for anti-bullying charities in May.

“Whenever we sing at football games and other events, there are always alumni who join us,” Howell said. “You always see recent alumni running up, or people slowly approaching the stage with their walkers. Glee club is an incredibly special group, because it is based around a sense of community and passion to create beautiful music.”

More than 700 alumni will be on campus this weekend to celebrate the anniversary ­— from a 93-year-old member of the class of 1939 to last year’s graduates, said Glee Club member and publicity chair Mari Oye ’11.

While many traditional singing events and dinners will happen throughout the weekend, the biggest celebration open to the public will take place this Saturday at 5 p.m. in Woolsey Hall where alumni and current students will perform together some of the most traditional Yale Glee Club songs such as “Bright College Years” and “‘Neath the Elms” said Glee Club Manager Rachel Wilf ’12.

Howell added that no matter how long ago alumni were part of Glee Club, these traditional songs and the singing banquet keep all members linked, creating a “forever-lasting community of friendship.”

“My experience with Glee Club has been amazing,” Howell said. “It has defined my Yale experience, and it has been the center of these four years. I’m incredibly excited about the reunion since it will be great to see a lot of close friends, as well people that represent our 150 years of tradition.”

While the Glee Club performs a domestic tour every year, and an international one every other year, this summer the Glee Club will travel to many of the European capitals visited by the group in 1928, including Paris, Wilf said.

February 9, 2011

An earlier version of this article contained several errors. First the Glee Club will not be performing the song “We Meet Again Tonight” at their concern on Saturday afternoon. Second, the Yale Glee Club’s summer tour will not include London as the article stated. Third, the quote “forever-lasting community of friendship” should be attributed to Emily Howell ’11, not Rachel Wilf ’12.