Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:10 AM ET, 01/10/2011

In performance: Yale Glee Club 150th

By Alfred Thigpen

Yale Glee Club at Strathmore, by Alfred Thigpen.

What? No Charles Ives? For its sesquicentennial concert at Strathmore on Friday night, Yale's Glee Club might have mentioned the name of this famous Yale alumnus-composer, or rationed out more than a passing fight song. Still, the sellout audience heard an opera-length concert featuring jazz pianist John Eaton, the Yale undergraduate groups Whim 'n Rhythm (all-female) and the Whiffenpoofs (all-male), alumni singers, and finally, the Glee Club itself.

Under the direction of Jeffrey Douma, the sopranos — indeed, all the voices — sang as one instrument, with flawless intonation that was aided by the absence of vibrato (the choral equivalent of uneven pavement). Without this discipline, the contemporary sacred works of James MacMillan and Robert Vuichard would have fallen like bad soufflés. Instead, their treacherously clustered semitones and contrapuntal subtleties became otherworldly and transcendent.

In a evening laced with commendable performances, the only standing ovation — scattered but richly deserved — went to Whiffenpoofs member Nathan Calixto for his performance of “Salley Gardens.” Jokingly referred to as the group’s “cash cow,” Calixto, with his cello-like tenor, momentarily erased dark memories of the preceding year. He is a true rising star.

Friday’s concert was the final stop on the glee club’s winter tour of the U.S., though an eight-city international tour is scheduled for this summer. With Yale’s considerable power behind him, Douma is clearly taking his groups into a strong third century.

By Alfred Thigpen  | January 10, 2011; 12:10 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Virginia Opera: the sequel
Next: Links: Weekend roundup -- Fleming, National Phil, and more

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company