Glee club

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A glee club is a musical group or choir group, historically of male voices but also of female or mixed voices, which traditionally specializes in the singing of short songs—glees—by trios or quartets. In the late 19th century it was very popular in most schools and was made a tradition to have in American high schools from then on. The first named Glee Club was founded in Harrow School in London in 1787, where an annual Glee competition is still held.[1] Glee clubs were very popular in Britain from then until the mid-1850s but by then they were gradually being superseded by choral societies. Glee in this context does not refer to the mood of the music or of its singers, but to a specific form of English part song popular between 1650 and 1900, the glee. But by the mid-20th century, proper glee clubs were no longer common.

The term remains in contemporary use, however, for choirs established in North American colleges, universities, and high schools, although most American glee clubs are choruses in the standard sense, and rarely perform glees.

Oldest United States collegiate glee clubs[edit]

The oldest collegiate glee clubs in the United States are, by year of foundation:

The oldest non-collegiate glee club in the United States is the Mendelssohn Glee Club, founded in 1866.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bacon, Richard Mackenzie (1820). "The Catch and Glee Clubs". The Quarterly musical magazine and review. London. II (VII): 328ff.
  2. ^ "History of the Harvard Glee Club". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  3. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-09-29. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "The University of Pennsylvania Archives".
  5. ^ "Amherst Glee Club Website". Archived from the original on 2011-06-28.
  6. ^ "Glee Club History". Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  7. ^ Bruce, Philip Alexander (1921). History of the University of Virginia, 1818-1919. IV. MacMillan. pp. 127–128, 841.
  8. ^ "RU Glee Club History". Archived from the original on 2010-07-17. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  9. ^ "Official webpage of The Ohio State University Men's Glee Club". Retrieved 2015-02-04.
  10. ^ "Choral Ensembles". Mount Holyoke College. 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  11. ^ "Penn State Glee Club history". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  12. ^ College, Wabash. "Academics". Wabash College. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  13. ^ "University of Michigan Women's Glee Club". Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  14. ^ "Purdue Varsity Glee Club History". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  15. ^ "The History of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Singing Cadets". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  16. ^ "About the Georgia Tech Glee Club". Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  17. ^ "Wheaton College Men's Glee Club". Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  18. ^ "The Official Morehouse Glee Club Website". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  19. ^ New York Library for the Performing Arts. "Mendelssohn Club Papers" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-02-25.

Further reading[edit]

  • J. Lloyd Winstead (2013) When Colleges Sang: The Story of Singing in American College Life University of Alabama Press ISBN 978-0-8173-1790-4