Glee Club hits you from day one. It certainly did during my first rehearsal as a “rookie” in the group. Upon entering Penote, our practice room inside the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, we were told to grab a folder of music from the rack. As a wide-eyed freshman, I met this immense volume of music with utter amazement. I remember quickly counting the songs and realizing that they totaled more than what I sang in my entire high school choir career. On top of this, our director Dan causally remarked at the end of rehearsal that we would only spend a couple weeks memorizing this folder’s music before moving on to more demanding material. The practice of baby steps is nonexistent in the Glee Club. I found that out quickly. Don’t know how to swim? Into the deep end, you go!
Despite, the intense nature of preparing to reach the Glee Club standard of performance for all of my first few concerts, there were certainly always veteran singers helping us new guys feel at home in the group and leading by example. I remember sitting by to two seniors almost every day as a freshman, keenly observing their attentiveness, dedication, and the techniques they used to master a piece. I distinctly remember one rehearsal when one of them turned to me after finishing one of our more difficult songs and told me that I had improved immensely. This affirmation was huge in making me feel a part of this community. As much as Glee Club is defined by its musical experience, community is the true driving force behind all things. That community is fostered by a support network that I was so warmly offered right from the start.
This senior-freshman relationship that helps shape the experiences of so many in Glee Club, including my own, is why I ran for president of the group. I view my job as a student leader as simply following the examples of those before me. The foundations of the group are based on this continuance of mentorship and exemplary work ethic every year. I am doing my part now, just as the scores of members past have done before me. I trust that the future of the group is bright with this year’s freshmen as this tradition of torch bearing is being formed within them.