Tenzin Jorden, Contributing Photographer

In its first in-person official concert since February 2020, the Yale Glee Club will host a joint fundraising event called Hand in Hand.

The Club will participate in the third annual Hand in Hand Concert on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. The concert will be held in conjunction with the Harvard and Princeton glee clubs, with each choir singing in venues on their respective campuses — Richardson Auditorium at Princeton and Sanders Theatre at Harvard. Each college will livestream the other two universities’ performances following the conclusion of their live segment. 

“Joint concerts between the choruses of Harvard, Yale and Princeton have been a tradition for over a century,” YGC Director Jeffrey Douma said. “In normal times we share a series of performances throughout the fall semester, hosting one another on our respective campuses. Last year that wasn’t possible, so we created two virtual performances together and used those events as an opportunity to raise money for nonprofits engaged in work around equity and justice in music education.”

The first Hand in Hand concert took place virtually in the fall of 2020 in support of New Haven-based nonprofit Music Haven. The three ensembles collaborated on a joint piece called “Caravan of Love” — a song originally performed by the Isley Brothers and arranged by Brandon Waddles. The second concert — which raised money for nonprofit Education Through Music — took place last spring, and featured a collaboration between the three ensembles on a piece by Tim Keeler titled “Songs of Home.” Hand in Hand II raised more than $12,000.

The money raised at Friday’s concert will go towards supporting Save the Music, which YGC President Aria Falcone ’22 described as “a nonprofit that provides grants to public school music programs, which experience budget cuts far too often.”

“Cuts to public school music programs often fall along socioeconomic and racial lines,” Falcone added. “Music programs are so essential to young people. They provide them with creative outlets and opportunities to express themselves and build community. Save the Music helps to provide schools with the support they need to continue these programs for their students.” 

Save the Music has also worked to support the New Haven Public Schools’ music programs. 

Falcone also mentioned that YGC recognizes that one benefit concert is not enough to solve large issues of inequality in music education and access. 

“The Glee Club recognizes that broad systemic change is necessary,” Falcone said. “YGC will continue to critically examine the ways in which we can work toward our goals, and to continue to build out our partnership with Harvard and Princeton.”

The repertoire for this concert will include songs such as “Ave Maria,” “Bogoroditse Devo,” “Angel Band,” “Because You Sang,” “Yale Football Medley” and “Bright College Years.” Throughout the semester, the YGC was visited by all of the composers of the concert’s contemporary works either through Zoom or, when possible, in person. During these visits, the composers spoke about the inspiration for the pieces and their intentions for YGC’s performance of their work. 

According to Falcone, YGC’s dialogues with composers were “incredibly fruitful” and encouraged the group to treat each piece as a conversation between them and the composer.  

“This truly demonstrates that these works are living, breathing beings,” she added.

In addition to engaging in conversation with the composers, members of YGC have also been able to participate in meaningful in-person interactions this semester.

“The people in the Glee Club are just incredible singers and friends, and rehearsals are the highlight of my evening,” YGC Publicity Officer Maya Khurana ’24 said about her experience in the group so far. “We had Glee Club last year, but now that we are in person and are able to create such beautiful music together, we have an unbreakable bond.”

The audience is limited to 275 people and attendance is open to current Yale students, faculty and staff. No tickets are needed for the livestream and optional donations can be made online as well.

YEJI KIM