Cornell University Glee Club
In the fall of 1868, months after Cornell University opened its doors, students banded together to form the Orpheus Glee Club. Originally composed of a vocal quartet, several accompanying instrumentalists, and a poet, the group has become a home to thousands of young men who have traveled in all walks of life, from music and medicine to agriculture and astronomy. The group has performed songs of Bernstein on Malaysian television and songs of Shostakovich in the Moscow conservatory, sung in more than a dozen languages, logged hundreds of thousands of miles, and brought music to millions of people across the globe.
The ensemble performs a diverse repertoire, ranging from liturgical settings to folk songs and from works of the Renaissance to contemporary music. In 1995, the Glee Club began a project of annually commissioning a new piece for male voices by composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Julian Wachner, David Conte, Daniel Kellogg, Shulamit Ran, Norbert Palej, Benjamin May, Bernard Rands, Joseph Gregorio, J. David Moore, and most recently Toby Twining.
The Glee Club has been led by several notable directors, including Hollis Dann, Eric Dudley, Thomas Tracy, and Director Emeritus Thomas Sokol, who led the group for 38 years. Scott Tucker, the Glee Club’s director from 1995-2012, brought the group international acclaim with performances at the American Choral Directors Association and the Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd in Wales, where the Glee Club placed second place in the Male Choir competition. Robert Isaacs is the glee club’s ninth conductor.