Glee Club celebrates 140 years in song with April 21 concert

In 1872, Ulysses S. Grant was elected President of the United States, Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park and a bunch of sophomore college students formed the Rutgers University Glee Club under the leadership of Edwin E. Colburn.

Plenty has changed in 140 years, but the 76-member men’s chorus, under the baton of Patrick Gardner, continues to perform plenty of high-spirited Rutgers songs, along with a varied repertoire from the choral canon. Where else can you hear Eviva Beviam and On the Banks of the Old Raritan?

On Saturday, April 21, 2012, you’ll hear both, as the Rutgers University Glee Club celebrates its 140th anniversary with a concert at Nicholas Music Center. The choir will perform the New Jersey Premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan’s three-movement work Travels, Giovanni Bonato’s O Lilium Convalium and Felix Mendelssohn’s Adspice Dominum. Some recent alums will join the Glee Club to perform several pieces (Dona Nobis Pacem, The Last Words of David) from the choir’s tours to Italy, France and Germany, and all Glee Club alumni will climb onstage to sing Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria, as well as the Rutgers repertoire.

“It is always a joy to welcome our alums back ‘to the Banks’ because our alumni hold an important part in representing the history of the University,” says Gardner, director since 1993. “And their return is important for them to re-establish their musical bonds and social ties with their friends from their student years.”

The 140th anniversary concert takes place 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2012, at Nicholas Music Center, in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center at 85 George Street (at Ryders Lane), New Brunswick, N.J. Tickets are $10 for the general public, Rutgers employees and alumni as well as senior citizens, and $5 for students with valid I.D. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.

Media inquiries: Laurie Granieri, 848-932-5239

Posted March 2012