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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
The Observer

Glee Club joins up with the Symphony Orchestra for Christmas concert

The Notre Dame Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra will join forces for a festive performance of beloved Christmas songs, both old and new this Saturday at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

All proceeds will benefit the South Bend Center for the Homeless and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, according to the Debartolo Performing Arts Center’s website.

Glee Club and Symphony Orchestra director Daniel Stowe said the show will feature a wide variety of Christmas music.

“It’s kind of a potpourri concert that will be some music for orchestra alone, principally collections from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, and then a good many pieces from the Glee Club alone ranging from renaissance songs to popular Christmas carols and other popular selections and then there will be some pieces together,” he said. “We’ll also have a couple arrangements of traditional carols that were arrangements for the Glee Club and orchestra together.”

This joint concert is a break from the the traditional types of performances for both groups, Stowe said.

“Traditionally, our Glee Club Christmas Concert [is] just the Glee Club alone,” he said. “But this year as part of our Glee Club centennial, I invited the orchestra to perform.”

Freshman Glee Club member Austin Klein said staging such a concert provides unique challenges for the both the Glee Club and the Orchestra.  

“The challenges will come from moving pieces of the performance,” Klein said. “There’s the acoustic challenge of being so far separated, being so distant from the director and each other. We’re going to have to focus really hard to make sure that we watch the director to make sure we don’t get off tempo."

For members of the orchestra, the largest challenges are associated with the getting the dynamics of their performance correct, freshman orchestra member Brian Quigley said.

“We have to be aware of when their part is more important than ours, and when ours is more important than their's,” he said.

Another freshman orchestra member, Jessica Hardey, agreed.  

“Getting balance within the orchestra and the choir is most important,” she said. “Oftentimes the orchestra is too loud and you can’t hear the choir, or the band instruments, horns and such, will be too loud and overpower the orchestra.”

Despite the challenges, members of both groups said they are confident the concert will be a success.

“Director Stowe knows really well how to coordinate us and how to make our pieces fit together,” Quigley said. “My favorite part of the orchestra is his energy in directing and sharing this with the Glee Club and having it be coordinated so well because he directs both of us is exciting.”

Members of both groups are also excited to perform newly arranged pieces of music.

“We’re playing a really fun version of ‘Sleigh Ride,’ Hardey said. "It’s pretty jazzy, and it has some great instrumental parts. And as a cellist it has some really fun jazzy cello parts and It’s pretty much everyone’s favorite and everyone gets really excited about it.”

Stowe encouraged all who could to come the performance, which will highlight the talents of both groups.

“It’s a great showcase for some of the most talented students on campus,”  Stowe said. “It will be a festive event and it’ll get people in the Christmas spirit and it’ll be a nice study break as final exams approach.”