The UGC Spring Concert will take place on Friday, May 10th, 7:30 pm, at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 450 Whitney Avenue, in New Haven.
Spurred by the nostalgia of group singing in World War I and memories of college glee club days, an all-male chorus was established in New Haven in December, 1924. Under the direction of Yale Music Director Marshall Bartholomew, the group quickly mushroomed and received rave reviews in the local newspapers.
Over the years, the singing group idea flourished and so did the University Glee Club. Today, we are considered the oldest independent men's glee club in the country!
The Glee Club is a rich blend of men's voices: Tenor I, Tenor II, Baritone and Bass. We meet once per week, and along with a professional accompanist, rehearse a wide variety of choral music.
In 1948, after 24 years of directing the four-part harmony group, Mr Bartholomew retired from Yale and the UGC. He passed the baton to the then director of the Yale Glee Club, Fenno Heath. Heath directed us until his retirement in 1986. During his distinguished tenure, the Club performed at many different venues with several famous soloists, glee clubs and choruses.
UGC has been part of the fabric of New Haven's musical life since 1924. Learn more about how the University Glee Club started and its musical history as compiled by Elliott G. Barske, a long-time member and historian of UGC.
You can also read historical highlights of the UGC, compiled by Merritt Cleaver, UGC member.
The University Glee Club's third director, Mark Dollhopf, Yale Class of 1977, is an alumnus of Yale's fine musical traditions, including its Glee Club and the Whiffenpoofs. Ethan Nash was the fourth director. A 1997 graduate of Yale, Ethan majored in music and received his PhD at the prestigious Hartt School of Music. Our fifth director, Kevin Buno, received his undergraduate degree from the College of Saint Rose and a master's degree from the University of Connecticut.
Lars Gjerde joined us in 2011 as the current director. Originally from Aure, Norway, he holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Augustana College and the Edvard Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen, Norway. He is currently a doctoral candidate in organ performance at the Eastman School of Music. Since 2010, Lars has been Director of Music at Bethesda Lutheran Church in New Haven. We are extremely pleased to have Lars as our new director.