Anticipation Grows for the Morehouse Glee Club's Spring Tour
Editor's Note: Due to the snow on March 21st, 2018, the Morehouse Glee Club will be performing a shortened version of their concert on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018, starting at noon in the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC).
In an event highly anticipated by the Swarthmore community and beyond, The Morehouse Glee Club, Morehouse College’s official choral group, will perform in concert at 7 p.m. on March 21st at the Pearson Hall Theater of the Lang Performing Arts Center.
The Morehouse Glee Club, a renowned, sixty-voice, all-male choral ensemble at the prestigious historically-black college, has been conducted by director Dr. David Morrow since 1987, acclaimed across America as well as internationally.
Founded officially in 1911 by Kemper Harreld though inspired first by Georgia M. Star in 1903, the Glee Club originated from a long-standing musical tradition at Morehouse College. Seeking to demonstrate excellence not only in choral performance, but also in brotherhood and discipline, later directors, including Wendell Phillips Whalum, continued to foster the values and dedication of the group. Known for its melodic tunes and lyrical renditions, the Morehouse Glee Club has navigated through time, history and American culture, having sung at many historical events with generation-bending prowess.
Their singing has stood the test of time and has a far reach, taking tours in Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Russia, Poland and the Caribbean, as well as nationally. They sang for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, with Natalie Cole for the Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994, President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 inauguration, and, among many other feats, recorded the spiritual He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, for Spike Lee’s movie, Miracle at St. Anna in 2008. Perhaps most noted is their performance at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a ‘48 alum of the College and the Club. Continuing in Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy, they also performed at his 1993 commemoration at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall and at the unveiling of the King Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2011.
“Brothers in song sing on!” the group exclaims at the beginning of every concert. While the group includes music majors, the academic, extracurricular and professional interests of its members cross disciplines. All are described by Morrow as participating in the Glee Club with “the labor of love”.
Wednesday’s concert will be two hours long and include a wide range of works, including those of George F. Handel, Alice Parker, Wendell Whalum, Pharrell Williams, Robert Tanner, Frederick Hall, Laz E. N. Ekwueme, Stacey Gibbs, Olatunji, as well as others.
Also performing will be the Morehouse College Quartet, consisting of Darron Marble ‘18, Ethan Godfrey ‘18, Elijah Mobley ‘18, and Xavier Milton ‘20. In existence even longer than the Morehouse Glee Club, the Quartet has also sang across genres and national lines, performing at the discretion of the President of Morehouse College.
The concert is sponsored by the Sociology and Anthropology, Political Science, and Music and Dance departments, as well as by the Black Studies Program, Black Cultural Center, Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Development, and the Office of the President at Swarthmore College.
Excited not only for the musical excellence of the choir, but also for its tradition, the Greater Philadelphia area is expecting a large turnout for the event. In anticipation of snow, while this event is still scheduled for Wednesday, March 21st at 7pm, it may be rescheduled to Thursday morning. Updates to its status will be posted in Voices.