The Glee Club Experience Blog

The Glee Club Presents: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Thank you for attending the Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance. Videos of the performance can be found here.

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Reunions 2015 - Thanks for coming!

Thank you to all those who returned to sing in the 2015 Glee Club Reunion. Thomas Tallis's Spem in Alium was as moving as ever with a choir of over 200 past and present members of the Princeton Glee Club. We look forward to see you again next year!

The Glee Club Presents: Theatre of Voices

We are tremendously enjoying the visit of renowned vocal ensemble Theatre of Voices to Princeton's campus as they workshop and rehearsal for their performance at Carnegie Hall. On Thursday evening they gave an open rehearsal in Fine Hall and on Friday they will be giving a masterclass with the Glee Club and a workshop performance of their Carnegie Hall program: Stockhausen's Stimmung. What a wonderful experience this has been for us!

If you have pictures or reaction from any of their visit to share, please share them with us below. Hashtag photos in Instagram with #pugc or email them to You can also share your reactions by commenting below!

A reflection from President Lillian Xu '15

This past year in Glee Club has been an incredible ride— from our packed concerts to our successful launch of the Glee Club Fund, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Gabriel and the officer corps during this period.  On the heels of our amazing tour in Europe last year, 2014 has been rewarding in different ways. We kicked off the year with our second Glee Club Presents concert, featuring Oxford’s Schola Cantorum—by the time the concert began, there were people standing in the back of the church because all the seats had been taken. Though our football team may not won this year, the Glee Club certainly triumphed in our annual Football Concerts with Harvard and Yale, which were both filled with fun and friendly rivalry as always.  However, perhaps the most memorable moment of this past year was our December performance of Marsalis’ brilliant Abyssinian Mass, which marked a historical moment of onstage choreography (gasp!) This collaboration with the Jazz Ensemble was met with an audience larger than any in recent Winter Concert history.  When we found out that we had to open the balcony for the first time since Gabriel has been here, we were all ecstatic.

Smaller moments have been special too. Our incoming class of 33 has not only contributed their fantastic voices but also their enthusiasm and spirit to the Glee Club community. Our mentorship program, holiday gift exchanges, and weekly tea times have allowed all 81 of us to form a giant Glee family which makes singing together more meaningful. On behalf of all the singers in Glee Club, I want to thank you all for making our Glee Club Presents concert series possible and for supporting us in any capacity you can. In my final months of presidency, it has meant so much to me to see the hard work of our choir rewarded with full audiences and the immense generosity from our alumni, parents and friends. We still have many exciting plans ahead and I can’t wait to see what next year will bring.

Princeton and Wynton Marsalis

We are looking all very much looking forward to our upcoming collaboration with the Princeton University combined Jazz Ensembles on Sunday December 7th. We’re excited to be bringing you highlights from one of Wynton Marsalis’ masterpieces ‘Abyssinian Mass’. This is extra special for us given the long ties that Princeton shares with the renowned Trumpeter. Marsalis has graced Princeton auditoriums frequently, performing many times in McCarter Theatre and Richardson Auditorium. In January 1992, Richardson was chosen as the site for Marsalis’ recording “On The Twentieth Century” with pianist Judith Stillman; whilst in 1996 Richardson welcomed Marsalis once more to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, as he spoke of the role of music in achieving unity among cultures.

But ties are even deeper: in June 1994 we had the privilege of welcoming Wynton Marsalis as our commencement speaker, which was followed a year later by the awarding of a honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at the 1995 commencement for his achievements and his music that ‘speak directly to the heart, mind and soul’.

We hope to see you all on December 7th 2014 as we bring Marsalis’ lively music once more back to campus, on a date that itself bears significance, in that December 7th 1994 had seen the trumpeter present a lecture on jazz and American culture, once again in one of our very own campus auditoriums.

Photo credits:

Daily Princetonian, 17th January 1996

Princeton Weekly Bulletin, Dec. 5th 1994, Vol. 84, No. 11

Princeton Weekly Bulletin, Feb. 5th 1996, Vol 85, No. 15

Princeton Alumni Weekly, July 1995, with thanks to the “Princeton University Archives. Department of Rare Books and Special Collection. Princeton University Library”

The Glee Club Presents - Schola Cantorum

Thank you for coming to our inaugural concert of the 2014/15 Glee Club Presents Series. 

Let us know what you thought of this concert and the series in general by commenting below. We would love to hear from you!

Please share your pictures of the event with everyone by sending them to us at or using #PUGC with instagram and see them uploaded instantly to this page.

Reunions 2014

Thank you to all Glee Club members, past and present, who participated in the annual singing of Spem in Alium. What an experience to be back singing in Richardson with so many generations!

Please share your pictures of the event with everyone by sending them to us at or using #PUGC with instagram and see them uploaded instantly to this page.

We would also love your feedback and comments of what you thought of the event. Please post them at the bottom of this page. We would love to hear from you! 

The Glee Club presents - Calmus

Thank you for coming to our inaugural concert of The Glee Club Presents. 

Let us know your thoughts and give us your feedback by commenting below. We would love to hear from you!

Glee Club Tour Day 7

We awoke on Saturday morning for our final full day of our tour in Leipzig, and were welcomed by a buffet of mixed meats, assorted jellies, and other morsels for our eager stomachs. We then set off with tour guides to explore the rich architecture and history of the 999-year old city.  As a crossroads between Europe’s two main trade routes, Leipzig grew as a center for trade and culture over the last millennium.  The music in Leipzig was manifest, second only to Vienna in terms of the presence of famous classical composers who had a relationship with the city.  It was amazing to walk within a few blocks and discover the school that young Wagner attended, the location of the apartment where Mendelssohn lived, a coffee shop where a variety of composers like Berlioz and Robert and Clara Schumann frequented, and Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), where Bach’s Magnificat was premiered.  The older baroque architecture was mixed with modern styles, as much of the historic city center had been destroyed by bombings in World War II and rebuilt.  However, the city’s spirit clearly survived through its variety of shops, museums, and musical experiences.

After the tour we returned to the Thomaskirche for a rehearsal with the Leipziger Barockorchester on an entirely Bach repertoire for the afternoon service.  We were all in awe of the professional sound of the orchestra – everything from the precision of the violin runs to the blended timbres of the horns.  After a short break, we changed into concert dress and took our places up in the balcony of the church in front of the massive organ.  The performance was truly an unreal experience.  We performed our first piece O Jesulein Süß a cappella, followed by a beautifully conducted rendition of O Jesu Christ Mein’s Lebens Licht under the direction of our assistant conductor, Kamna.  Our final piece was the famous Magnificat, and truly felt like the musical culmination of our trip.  What could be better than singing one of Bach’s most famous pieces at Bach’s own church and final resting place?  All of the soloists performed with vitality, and we could see just how overjoyed our conductor, Gabriel Crouch, was for the experience conducting the piece.  And, of course, all of the members of the choir were ecstatic as well!  It was a little strange not to receive any applause after our performance (it was a church service after all), but we all certainly felt proud of the result of weeks of hard work on this music.

Following the performance, we took some group photos and had a few hours to explore the city on our own.  Some of us took to the nearby bratwurst stand—others to the local shopping centers.  We later reconvened to celebrate with one final dinner of German cuisine and libations where we toasted all of the people who helped make this tour possible: Jürgen our coach driver, Kerry our accompanist, Katherine our tour manager, Johan our tour guide, Gabriel, our esteemed conductor, and, of course our alumni and supporters without whom this trip would not have been what it was. They made sure that every stop was truly unforgettable.

Spirits were high, and the upperclassmen shared goodbyes for what was their final glee club tour--an experience that they will surely carry with them, as so many PUGC alumni have in the past, for the rest of their lives.  The group then split off to continue celebrations at various nightclubs and bars across the city.  Even with the looming 4:30 AM wake-up call, many of us continued dancing and hanging out with fellow glee clubbers into the night, squeezing as much out of the wonderful city as possible.

Glee Club Tour Day 6

Finally in Leipzig!

After two wonderful days in Prague, we set off for the birthplace of Bach -- Leipzig, Germany! There was a special buzz of excitement when we arrived at Thomaskirche for a brief rehearsal. I know many members of the Glee Club will never forget singing O Jesulein suß just a few feet away from Bach's final resting place.

We had a bit of free time before our performance at Thomaskirche, during which time we explored the Stadtplatz, saw the Bach museum, and ate currywurst (and McDonald's for a few of the sausages-out glee clubbers). 

When we got back to the church, the Friday night service began and we performed alongside one of the finest vocal groups in Leipzig, Calmus, an incredible 5-person ensemble. Following the performance, we ate dinner as a group thanks to the incredible generosity of Princeton centurion Bill Scheide '36 and his family. 

We can't wait for our performance of Bach's Magnificat tomorrow back at the Thomaskirche and for our final day on what has been an incredible tour!




Glee Club Tour Day 5

A day in Prague

We started off the day today with a great tour of the Prague castle, also known in Czech as the Hrad! The castle itself was composed of many palaces (and a large cathedral) that came from many different architectural styles. Many of the buildings and small avenues have been used in movies, including Amadeus and Mission Impossible.  The spire of the cathedral in the center of the castle was destroyed by lightning in the 17th century. As a result, it was a replaced with a contemporary dome roof, as before the 19th century imitating older styles was not typical (i.e. Neo-gothic).

Later during our tour, we crossed the Moldau on the famous Charles Bridge, and explored some of the old city of Prague. Our guide informed us that originally, the streets did not have numbers. Instead the houses had names, such as “the house of the golden well” and the “house of the golden snake”.  The “house of the golden well” has an interesting origin story. After it was first built, there was a well next to it and a young maiden firmly believed that the well contained gold at the bottom. Many times a year she would descend to the bottom of the well in search of the treasure. Unfortunately, one of her ventures ended in mishap, and she drowned in the bottom of the well. When the owner of the home went looking for the body, he actually found the gold she had famously believed was lying at the bottom! And as a result there is now a relief of the famous young maiden at the top of the house; she leans on a skull to symbol her untimely death, and she is said to haunt the house (now a hotel) to this day.

We finished off the day with a  great concert in the Church of the Holy Saviour right outside of the old town square.  It had the most amazing acoustics!  Almost a 6 second reverb!  We had a great concert with a full house and now we look forward to our last stop, Leipzig!

Glee Club Tour Day 4

Happy New Year to everyone from the Glee Club!!

We had a lovely evening in Nuremberg to celebrate, kicking off after the concert with a dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant. There were some spectacular fireworks in the last few minutes of 2013, continuing well into the new year. (In fact several celebratory fire crackers were set off right above the restaurant, and a box just outside caught aflame just a little bit. Thankfully it was quickly put out by a few restaurant staff.)

This morning we set off towards Prague. The bus ride was sleepy--naturally--except that as we got deeper into the countryside, we were all awaken by neighbors' gasps at the beautiful landscape of the Czech Republic. There was a fine layer of frost hanging from the trees and over the fields. It was mesmerizing.

Upon our arrival in Prague we were able to go towards the town center and roam the marketplace and get dinner. Can't wait to explore some more, and then sing in this beautiful city tomorrow!


Instagram #pugleetour2013

Glee Club Tour Day 3

New Years Eve: Nuremberg Edition

We opened our Europe tour with a fantastic New Years Eve concert in Roßtal, a small town just outside of Nuremberg. The church was filled to the rafters with enthusiastic townspeople of all ages – there were over 550 people there! The audience reaction was wonderful – we were honored to get two standing ovations!

After the concert, we all rung in the new year together in a wonderful little Italian restaurant in Nuremberg. Counting down just outside the restaurant – it was fantastic! And to thank the restaurant staff, we sang for them, and they loved it so much that they chanted for an encore!

Later, we enjoyed a wonderful night out and about in Nuremberg to celebrate the New Year – wishing a happy new year to all of our friends and family back in the US! 

Glee Club Tour Day 2

En Route: Princeton to Newark to Frankfurt to Nuremberg

Man, it has been a long day of travel. Jeffmin '15, Tova '15 and I ('15) arrived at Princeton at around 10PM EST on Saturday, the 28th. Then the next day, after a quick run to the Panera on Nassau, we walked through the pounding rain to the Old Dinky station, where we hopped on a bus to Princeton Junction. After a train ride, security and a bit of waiting, we were finally on our Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt. The flight itself was uneventful. There was a screaming baby that didn't seem to bother anyone else, but I didn't get a wink of sleep. I was able to finish World War Z by Max Brooks and watch part of "The Hobbit" and "Despicable Me 2" through other people's screens. 

When we finally landed, we walked through the long hallways of the Frankfurt Airport before finally clearing customs. We then waited around, somewhat deliriously tired but ready to take on tour. Jeffmin, Daniel '15 and I talked about our plans for the podcast and a few of us broke into an impromptu back massage line (we jokingly called it a Friday in Glee Club rehearsal, because we normally do back massage lines to start rehearsal on Fridays).

When the tour bus finally arrived, we loaded up and headed out for Nuremberg. And that's about all I can remember - I fell asleep a couple minutes after we left the airport and only woke up when we got out for lunch. We stopped at the nicest rest stop that a lot of us have ever been to. There was a Burger King, a buffet and a convenience store on the first floor and an art gallery and fancy bathrooms on the second floor. After a quick meal, we were back on the road for another hour and a half. I'm about to head out exploring for an hour with my friends before coming back for rehearsal. There's still so much to do today!

Glee Club Tour Day 1

Pre-Departure Reflections:

It’s 6.30am and I’m finishing up my packing for Glee Club’s tour to Germany and Czech Republic. I am really excited. The first tour I ever went on was with the Harare Youth Orchestra to a music festival in Bulawayo, a city in the southwest of Zimbabwe. I was 15 and it was the first time I had traveled for an extended period of time with a bunch of musicians all sharing the sole purpose of making music. We didn’t cross any oceans or board any planes, but we did spent 9 hours on a bus together and 4 days in Bulawayo. I remember early morning rehearsals that were a pleasure to attend, delicious food, great company, slight homesickness (but only slight), fantastic concerts, dancing until the wee hours of the morning and of course, strong friendships. After that first tour, I knew that I would always surround myself with a family of musicians. Now, as a senior in college, attending my first and last tour with the Glee Club, I am REALLY excited. I want to enjoy every single moment, lavish in the beautiful music we will make together and cherish the faces that make Glee Club what it is. Here’s to a wonderful tour!