Tenzin Jorden, Contributing Photographer
The Yale Glee Club will be back for its second concert of the year on Friday to premiere new works and sing several Yale classics.
The YGC wrapped up a successful fundraising concert on Oct. 29, raising more than $4000 for 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 put on its second in-person concert since February 2020.
“We try to program a broad spectrum of choral repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, representing a diverse range of composers, genre, time periods and styles,” Jeffrey Douma, YGC director, wrote in an email to the News. “And of course, we hope the music we choose will be both gratifying for our singers to perform and meaningful for our audiences to hear.”
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 as lyrics to the piece “Because You Sang” — composed by Arianne Abela with text written by Ruthie Prillaman — which the Glee Club will perform.
The YGC collaborated with the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Yale Bands in 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: Angélica Negrón’s “Paradise” and Joel Thompson’s “Meditations.”
YGC president Aria Falcone ’22 explained that “Because You Sang” was written to celebrate 50 years of coeducation at Yale. The piece was supposed to be performed last spring but was delayed due to the pandemic. Instead, members and alumni of the YGC put together a virtual recording of the piece.
“The Song You Raised Will Ring” also references the title of a piece composed by Douma called “Raise Your Voices.”
“In [Douma’s] piece, one of the most lush moments comes when the choir sings ‘but always the song rings out.’” Falcone said.
Falcone added that when writing the text to “Because You Sang,” lyricist Ruthie Prillaman used the phrase “songs ringing” to tie both pieces 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, director of music at Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Moorhead, MN and Shruthi Rajasekar, a composer and vocalist.
“I really love ‘A Heart In Port’ by Shruthi Rajasekar — a piece she composed for two Yale Glee Club alumni who got married this summer,” YGC member Sam Ahn ’24 said. “It moves me every time we sing it; it has such beautiful melodies.”
The text for “A Heart In Port” is an Emily Dickinson poem, and the sheet music’s program notes that the piece goes beyond traditional explanations of the poem to one “which believes love to be ephemeral.”
Other works to be performed this Friday span across time periods and various choral traditions. Alongside the 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 ensemble of 18-24 YGC members — will be singing three selections: Love Bade Me Welcome, O Praise the Lord and The Sixty-Seventh Psalm.
After a member of YGC tested positive for COVID-19, uncertainty arose about whether the concert would still take place. On Thursday night, the YGC decided to move forward with the concert on the scheduled date after discussions with the health and safety officials in the Yale College Dean’s office. All members were tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Members of the Yale community who are vaccinated for COVID-19 and nonsymptomatic can watch this concert live in Woolsey Hall in first-come, first-served seating. The concert will also be livestreamed.