As a junior at Notre Dame, looking back upon my freshman year, I find it interesting that there are certain memories that distinguish themselves as more important than the rest. These memories are often just small moments, just a few minutes or less, and they don’t tend to be dramatic or otherwise notable. Sometimes, these moments are as simple as a brief conversation with a friend, or a laugh shared with a roommate. Other times, they are as commonplace as a meal at South Dining Hall. What they all share, though, is that they are moments when it was very evident to my eighteen-year-old mind that Notre Dame was where I was meant to be.
Quite a few of these moments come from my experiences with the Glee Club. I’ll always remember the wave of peace that came upon me the first time I heard Biebl’s Ave Maria at Bruno’s, just two days removed from hugging my parents goodbye; and I’ll never forget the feeling of comfort O Magnum Mysterium brought me on a Wednesday night rehearsal in April as I mourned my recently deceased grandfather. In both of these instances, I knew that everything was going to be ok, no matter how nervous or shaken I was. These were the moments when I knew that I was supposed to be at Notre Dame. However, there were other moments when I knew specifically that I was supposed to be in the Glee Club.
In October of my freshman year, the same weekend that the football team eked out a 17-14 victory over BYU on their way to a national championship appearance, Glee Club celebrated a reunion, and as a freshman, I had no idea what to expect. Wide-eyed, having just returned from my first Glee Club Tour (a trip out to Washington, D.C. and back), I was assigned the job of picking up trash after the concert Friday night. It was while completing this simple task that one of these moments of which I’ve spoken occurred.
I was carrying a few more water bottles to the garbage can than would comfortably fit in my arms, and was thus quite focused, as I didn’t want to drop any and have to pick them back up. On my way across the room, engrossed in my battle to not drop any Aquafina, I realized that the group of men I was passing were singing a fight song I didn’t recognize. I stopped, trying to pick out whether the song was a Notre Dame song, and if not, why the alums were singing it. Before I could pick out the words, though, they switched into another fight song. After that came a third, and soon they were running through the entire Cavalcade from a long-past football season.
Watching them sing, I was struck by the joy in their faces. Here were fifteen men who had known each other for upwards of twenty years, singing together jut as they did when they first met. I looked around at other Clubbers in my class, realizing with great happiness that years from now, when I came back for reunions, I would be doing the exact same thing.
Needless to say, I am ecstatic to be getting so many glimpses at the plans for the 100th Year Reunion. In a group with as storied a history as that of the Glee Club, any chance to meet so many of the men who paved the way for my college experience is an exciting opportunity. I can’t wait to reunite with the members I’ve sung with from the classes of 2013 and 2014, and I can’t wait for next year’s freshman class, the class of 2019, to see the wonder of the organization to which they belong. Hopefully, one of them will come across the same group of guys that I saw in the fall of 2012, will hear them sing the Cavalcade, and will know, just as I did in that moment, that the Glee Club is where he is meant to be.