Glee Club strives to hit a high note

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Three months of planning, singing and learning from each other will finally be showcased this weekend at the Fairfield University Glee Club performance, “On This Night.”

The music is a mixture of classical, Broadway and popular music and centers on the theme of rebirth. The Glee Club will be doing a gospel rendition of “Oh Holy Night,” along with “Gloria,” which will be sung in Latin.

Several soloists will be singing popular songs taken from U2 and the musical, “Love Never Dies,” The entire club will be singing “The Many Moods of Christmas,” which is a medley of various Christmas carols.

The Glee Club, which is Fairfield’s oldest club, has been practicing every Monday and Wednesday evening since September and will have their final rehearsal this Wednesday. According to one of the solo singers, Seamus Barrett ‘16, this concert is “the most formal concert of the semester. It’s a big deal.”

In addition to the Glee Club practices twice a week, other groups within the club practice on their own. These groups include: Chamber Singers, Bensonians, Sweet Harmony and the performance soloists.

Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell is the director of Fairfield’s Glee Club, which is composed of 130 students. Maxwell made her debut as a conductor when she was 16 and later came to Fairfield in 1980. She has been the conductor of the Glee Club since then and became director in 1987.

“I have played instruments. I have sung. I have done all of that in preparation for this conducting career,” explained Maxwell.

When Maxwell first became a part of the Glee Club on campus, it was all-male. This tradition was established in 1947; however, in 1987, the men and women were merged together. Since then, Maxwell explained that she has watched the club grow in size and talent in monumental ways.

“This is the largest that the club has ever been. When the students come in as young singers, they are told what is expected of them, and we follow through with it for their four years,” stated Maxwell. “They all have a certain pride and love of choral singing.”

Maxwell’s method for training and perfecting the various voices of the Glee Club is based on the passion that each student possesses for music. She explained, “I expect from them what I expect from myself, which is total and absolute commitment to what they are doing. I think a big thing that keeps us together is the esprit de corps, the energy that we give back and forth to one another. It’s why we enjoy being together in and out of rehearsal.”

For many students, the Glee Club has played a major role in their experience at Fairfield. Senior Peter Lyons, the social coordinator, explained that leaving Glee will be a difficult task.

“It’s sad because I remember when we were freshmen and now I’m a senior,” said Lyons. “Out of everything that I’m going to miss when I graduate, Glee will be the thing that I will miss most.”

Though they are sad that their Glee experience is coming to an end, many of the students are anticipating the upcoming performance. Maxwell also explained, the most exciting part for her is “the various ways I can challenge the students… and the audience too, I guess.”

She reflected on her goal for the audience during the performance.

Maxwell stated that the most important part is the focus on the rebirth and recognizing that every song is centered on the birth of Christ. “Everything points to that. Whether we’re singing about stars, whether we’re singing about angels or about something by U2, it all leads back to that,” stated Maxwell.

The concert is this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Quick Center.

In addition to the performance this weekend, the Glee Club will also be having a Christmas Pops concert on Dec. 12 in Einstein’s at 9:30 p.m.

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