On March 31, 2012 at Hill Auditorium, the Men’s Glee Club held their 152nd Annual Spring Concert. The concert had nine separate portions that each displayed the strengths of the vocalists separately and as a whole. There were many traditional Chinese pieces performed during the seventh part of the program because the club is heading to China this summer to represent the immense talent of the choral groups here at the University of Michigan.
The club kicked off the concert with a classic song sung by the Men’s Glee Club, “Laudes atque Carmina”, which praises the University of Michigan. They continued with “A Passerby” by Byron Adams, which was sweet and soothing. The next piece, called given a body was commissioned by the club when they were given a generous grant from an anonymous alumnus. This piece was comprised of four movements and was written by Kristin Kuster, with lyrics by Megan LeVad. Kristin and Megan were clearly very thankful that they were chosen to commission this piece because it had a deep meaning to them and the Men’s Glee Club. It was deep, poetic, and diverse throughout its four movements. Next, the men performed two pieces by Stephen Chatman from There is Sweet Music Here. These pieces were natural and beautiful and were called “There is Sweet Music Here” and “Piping down the valleys wild.” They included haunting harmonies that were dissonant, but incredible. Two more movements of given a body were performed next and they were just as lovely as the first two, but had different themes. The first half of the concert was finished by “Luck be a lady tonight” from Guys and Dolls. This piece was fun and energetic compared to the soothing pieces before it.
After intermission, The Friars, an a cappella group started by members of the Men’s Glee Club, performed a few tunes. The final song they sang was about Denard Robinson, everyone’s favorite quarterback and it had the crowd laughing out loud. The next portion of the program featured traditional Chinese selections as a celebration that the Men’s Glee Club will be going abroad to China this summer. A special guest, Zhang Ying, performed two solo pieces arranged by himself and accompanied the club. Zhang Ying played three interesting instruments, the gourd flute, the dizi, and the sheng. Each had its own distinct tone and was brilliantly designed so it was not only an instrument, but a work of art. Next, the group performed a Motown/Soul Medley including “The way you do the things you do”, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)”, “I’ll Be There”, and “Love Train/Baby, I need your lovin.'” This portion of the concert was very entertaining because the songs performed were classic hits and the men of the club had choreographed dance moves that they performed in sync. The program concluded with songs about the University of Michigan. These got the crowd in a great mood, because everyone loves to celebrate the wonderful opportunities and talents at U of M! After getting a standing ovation, the club invited all alumni present at the concert on stage. This giant group of men then sang “Hail to the Victors” (with the assistance of the audience of course).
Overall, this was a fantastic concert and got everyone excited for the Men’s Glee Club to show people of China the diversity and talent that exists at the University of Michigan. We wish the Men’s Glee Club safe travels and hope that they gain a rewarding experience from the trip as well as spread joy to everyone that they perform for!
To learn more about the Men’s Glee Club and their endeavors, check here: http://ummgc.org/