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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

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Glee Club's spring concert is a must see

If you were lucky enough to be in Saint Mary's Noble Family dining hall on Wednesday night, you might have been treated to the Notre Dame fight song. The emphasis on "daughters" in the line "all her loyal sons and daughters" played particularly well on the all-female campus. 

“That's nice,” Saint Mary's College senior Isla Hoffman said. “Know thine audience.”

This was the Notre Dame Glee Club's ballsy marketing strategy to get people to attend their Friday night concert. They will perform their spring show after spending winter break touring the Northeast and spring break touring Colorado and New Mexico.

Founded in 1915, the sixty-voice all-male choir has been a campus staple for over one hundred years. The group provides a sense of community to its members.

Ahead of the concert, I attended one of their rehearsals. In the humidity of the O'Neill Hall of Music, the group started with a prayer and a call to Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, to intercede for them. Their director, Daniel Stowe, conducts with such passion and pulls incredible performances out of these men.

Their spring concert represents not only the culture of the Glee Club but also the culture of Notre Dame — from classic Irish songs like “Danny Boy,” which manages to bring any listener across the pond and show them the ‘glens’ of the Emerald Isle, to more traditional Catholic hymns like “Salve Regina,” which (if you'll forgive the pun) was heavenly. 

But the concert is more than just hymns and jigs. Their rendition of “I Can Go The Distance” from the Disney movie musical “Hercules” is incredible, as well as “The Element Song” which humorously ends, “and there may be many others, but they have not been discovered, but we hope we will discover them right here at Notre Dame.” Sophomore Ethan Dimaano deserves a lot of credit for memorizing all 118 elements on the periodic table. 

The group and all its members also flex their theatrical muscles in the song “Right Here in River City” from “The Music Man.” If senior soloist John French ever has the chance to audition for a musical, I recommend that he take it — he is an amazingly charming Professor Harold Hill. And the ensemble are no slouches in the acting department either. They seemed so worked up about juvenile delinquency that I almost started to believe that pool is the devil's game. 

If you are free this Friday at 8 p.m., I recommend going to Leighton Auditorium at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center to check out the Glee Club recital with a mix of folk songs, hymns, Disney music and Broadway numbers. There's something for everyone to enjoy! Student tickets are free, and it's only five dollars if you're not a student. The concert program lasts about two hours. If you are not in South Bend, check the Notre Dame Glee Club Website to see if they are coming to a city near you.