Glee Club Reunion
Gaudeamus 2012. A joyous and memorable reunion weekend for 48 former members of the Glee Club, a male-voice choir that entertained the University and other audiences in Edinburgh, France, the Netherlands and Germany between 1958 and 1975.
Many of the members had not met one another, or sung in male voice choirs for nearly 50 years, but the memories of friendships and of the music came flooding back on the weekend of the 27th to the 29th April 2012.
Finding the members
With help from the Alumni Engagement team, over 160 men who had been members of the Glee Club were identified, contacted and a weekend of activities formulated. The reunion included members now living in Finland, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, as well as those still in the UK.
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Memory through music
The weekend began in the nostalgic atmosphere of the First Floor Lounge Bar in Teviot House and included a harmonious singsong round the piano of remembered songs from the Scottish Students’ Song Book.
The words of some of these songs had been captured, transcribed, and magically archived by George Gallaccio, one of the early members of the Club. An inventory of the Club’s music library had been rescued from oblivion by Alistair Des Moulins, the Club’s last Librarian, and during the weekend some of the Club’s music, as well as printed and recorded memorabilia, was handed over for archiving by a number of other members.
Concentrating on a handful of well-remembered Club favourites - spirituals like Deep River, When the Stars begin to Fall and Steal Away, and classical pieces like Matyas Seiber’s Hungarian Marching Song and the Pilgrims’ Chorus from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, as well as our signature songs Gaudeamus Igitur and Goodnight, Ladies - we prepared a short performance with which to entertain our ladies and ourselves after the Reunion Dinner that evening.
A dinner with singing and gowns
The Reunion Dinner took place on Saturday evening in the Prestonfield Suite of the John McIntyre Centre at Pollock Halls and included recollections of Glee Club years followed by a short performance wearing the red undergraduate gowns of perfomances past.
Gaudeamus 2012 was organised by David Bruce (Founder and Musical Director 1958-62 and 1966-68, and MA 1962), Tom Cunningham (Hon. Secretary 1966-67 and President 1967-68, and MA 1968) and Peter Freshwater (Hon. Secretary 1962-63 and Vice-President 1963-64, and MA 1964). We record our sincere thanks for help and support to: Development & Alumni staff, especially Beth Munro, Natalie Fergusson and Anna Moslow; John Kitchen, Senior Lecturer in Music; Andrew Laven, University Robemaster; Amanda McDonald and Grant Forbes of EUSA’s Honours Catering; and Katia Petridis, Louise Baird and their colleagues of Edinburgh First.