Yale Glee Club to perform with State High Master Singers

Yale Glee Club will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at State High.
Yale Glee Club will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at State High. Photo provided

One of the oldest musical organizations in the country will perform in State College on Friday.

The Yale Glee Club, which is currently in its 157th season, is playing with the State High Master Singers at 7 p.m. at the State College Area High School North Building auditorium.

Mahima Kumara — Yale sophomore and 2016 State High graduate, valedictorian and National Merit Scholar — is co-manager of this tour. Working with Kumara on the event will be Erik Clayton, director of choirs at State High.

Kumara was a part of the State High Master Singers for four years.

The concert will feature works by Brahms, Price, Dett and Hogan, with new works by Julian Bryson and Rodrigo Cadet. The Master Singers will also be featured as special guests, and they will sing a couple of pieces on their own, as well as a joint piece with the Yale Glee Club.

Kumara got started in music at a young age with piano and Indian classical voice.

“My piano teachers and the wonderful directors of State High’s choir program taught me so much about the beauty and power of music, and about hard work and striving for excellence,” she said. “It’s really meaningful to perform here with the Glee Club alongside my high school choir, directed by Erik Clayton, and especially to share our music with all the people in State College who have shaped and supported me.”

Directing the Yale Glee Club will be Dr. Jeffrey Douma, professor of conducting for the Yale School of Music. Douma is only the seventh director in the history of the Glee Club. He’s been at Yale since 2003.

“I hadn’t actually been on the Yale campus before the day of my interview, but I immediately realized what a special place it was, and what a wonderful tradition the Yale Glee Club represented,” he said.

The Glee Club is Yale’s principle chorus and oldest musical organization. Founded in 1861, it is the third-oldest glee club in the United States. The 80-member group sings a broad spectrum of choral music from the 16th century to the present, including Renaissance motets, newly commissioned choral works, world music, spirituals and folk songs, traditional Yale songs and the great masterworks of the baroque, classical and Romantic choral-orchestral repertoire. The group has received rave reviews in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among others.

The Yale Glee Club has performed in venues across the nation and even around the world — most recently in South Africa over the summer. The group generally tours twice a year, with one tour around the Northeast in January, and a longer domestic or international tour during spring or summer break.

The Glee Club will be performing a wide variety of music Friday — from spirituals, classical and modern choral compositions to little-known contemporary works.

“We’re also looking forward to singing a song by Stephen Paulus with the State College (Area) High School singers,” Douma said. “Hopefully something for everyone.”

Douma visited State College with the Glee Club in January 2004.

“I know that State College has a very vibrant arts community,” he said. “We’re very excited to visit and to share our music with the community.”

If you go

  • What: Yale Glee Club and State High Master Singers concert
  • When: 7 p.m. Friday
  • Where: State High North Building auditorium, 653 Westerly Parkway, State College
  • Info: gleeclub.yalecollege.yale.edu/