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Performances

Morehouse College Glee Club

Time: April 26 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Venue: Historic Academy Theatre
Cost: $20 – $57

The Morehouse College Glee Club is the premier singing organization of Morehouse College, traveling all over the country and the world, demonstrating excellence not only in choral performance but also in discipline, dedication, and brotherhood. Through its tradition the Glee Club has an impressive history and seeks to secure its future through even greater accomplishments, continuing in this tradition through the dedication and commitment of its members and the leadership that its directors have provided throughout the years. It is the mission of the Morehouse College Glee Club to maintain a high standard of musical excellence.

Since the Glee Club’s origin, excellence through brotherhood, dedication, commitment, and unselfish labors of love has continued in musical performance and in whatever the organization does. The current members come from all over the United States and even from other countries around the world. The Glee Club members all have different interests, which adds to the diversity of the organization. While some are music majors, members are in all academic divisions at the college. Even though some members take Glee Club as a course for credit, all members still sing as a labor of love and enjoy being ambassadors for Morehouse College .

About the Director

David Morrow is a native of Rochester, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College in 1980. While at Morehouse, he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was awarded the Kemper Harreld Award for Excellence in Music, received departmental honors, and graduated Valedictorian of his class. He received a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan in 1981 and was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1995. He has studied conducting with Wendell Whalum, Thomas Hilbish, Elmer Thomas, John Leman, Earl Rivers, Elizabeth Green, Teri Murai, Fiora Contino, and Donald Neuen.

Dr. Morrow has been a member of the Music faculty at Morehouse College since 1981. In 1987, he succeeded Dr. Wendell P. Whalum as Director of the Glee Club. He is also Director of the Wendell P. Whalum Community Chorus and Co-Director of the Morehouse-Spelman Chorus. He was recently appointed chair of the music department.

Dr. Morrow’s conducting honors include: conducting the Morehouse College Glee Club for the 1991 Kennedy Center Honors as part of the tribute to Robert Shaw, Conductor Laureate, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducting soprano Jessye Norman and the Spelman-Morehouse Chorus at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall celebrating the 1994 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, conducting the combined choruses of the Atlanta University Center and Natalie Cole singing the National Anthem for Super Bowl XXVIII, conducting the Morehouse College Glee Club for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the1996Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games. In addition, there are numerous performances with the Glee Club in the United States including its centennial celebration, performances with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and international performances with the Glee Club including tours of Russia, Poland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, South Africa, Canada, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Algeria and Nigeria.

In 2002, Dr. Morrow was guest conductor for Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano’s first Festival of Spirituals in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was the conductor of the 2009 “105 Voices” HBCU Concert Choir at the Kennedy Center, was a recurring conductor on the masterworks series for the Colour of Music Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and conducted works by R. Nathaniel Dett and Adolphus Hailstork in Carnegie Hall on MidAmerica Productions 39th Season. In addition, he has conducted honors choruses across the country, and lectured or conducted workshops in public schools, colleges, and universities, including the Detroit Public Schools, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Cornell University, University of Cincinnati, Westminster Choir College, Rutgers University, University of Arizona and Portland State University. His choral arrangements of spirituals and other African American folk music have been published by Alfred Music Publishers, Hal Leonard Music, Oxford University Press, and GIA Music Publishers.

Dr. Morrow is a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Musicians Association, past president of The National Association of Negro Musicians, and was a member of the Georgia Council for the Arts. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Intercollegiate Men’s Choruses, Inc. and ChorusAmerica, Inc. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, ChorusAmerica, the Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, is a “Friend of the Arts” member of Sigma Alpha Iota.

A Brief History of the Morehouse Glee Club

In 1911, Morehouse College, then under the name of Atlanta Baptist College, had a music professor named Georgia Starr. She served the College from 1903 – 1905 and again from 1908 – 1911. Mr. Kemper Harreld, who officially founded the Morehouse College Glee Club, assumed leadership when he joined the College’s music faculty in the fall of 1911. Mr. Harreld became both, Chair of the Music Department and Director of the Glee Club. After faithfully serving for forty – two years, he retired in 1953. Mr. Harreld was responsible for beginning the Glee Club’s strong legacy of excellence that has since been passed down to all members of the organization.

The Glee Club’s history continues in 1953 with the second director, Wendell Phillips Whalum, Sr., ’52. Dr. Whalum was a prized student of Kemper Harreld. He served as Student Director during his tenure in the Glee Club. Dr. Whalum was more commonly known as “Doc”, and served Morehouse College and the Glee Club with the continued tradition of excellence through expanded repertoire and national and international exposure throughout his tenure at the College. Dr. Whalum took a sabbatical in 1961 – 1963 to finish doctoral studies during which Albert T. Perkins served as Interim Director. Dr. Whalum continued this fine legacy until his passing in June 1987.

In the fall semester of 1987, David E. Morrow, ‘ 80, assumed directorship of the Glee Club. David Morrow was a prized student of “Doc”, just as “Doc” was of Mr. Kemper Harreld. He earned his Master’s degree in 1981 and then returned to his alma mater, joined the music faculty, and served as Assistant Director of the Glee Club. During the 1992 – 1993 school year, Harding Epps, ’74, served as interim Director, while Dr. Morrow finished doctoral studies. Dr. David Morrow continues to serve as the Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club which has gained world recognition through national and international tours.

On January 18, 1993, the Glee Club, as part of the Morehouse – Spelman Chorus, sang at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall, with soprano Jessye Norman, in a concert celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The Glee Club also performed the National Anthem with Natalie Cole for Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994. The organization participated with Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, and Trisha Yearwood in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia. In February 2002, the Glee Club performed for the Witness Concert with the Plymouth Music Series (now Vocal Essence), where the work, Of Dreams and Other Possibilities, written by Patrice Rushen was premiered. In 2004, the Glee Club performed with Take 6 at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008, the Glee Club recorded the spiritual, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, for Spike Lee’s movie, Miracle at St. Anna. Earlier that year, the organization performed with mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves, for the inaugural concert for the 10th A Brief History of the Morehouse College Glee Club – Revised-f23.docx president of Morehouse College, Dr. Robert M. Franklin. In 2011, its Centennial year, the Glee Club performed commemorative concerts in Atlanta and New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, for events leading to the dedication of the King Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and recorded Zachary and the Scaly Bark Tree by Bill Lee for his son, Spike Lee’s movie, Red Hook Summer. In 2013, the Glee club performed at the 129th Commencement Exercises at Morehouse College, where President Barack Obama was given an honorary degree. In 2015, the Glee Club performed with Demetria McKinney at the “Portraits of John Lewis: Celebrating the 75th Birthday” festivities at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia, for the 83rd birthday celebration of Ambassador Andrew Young. and the Glee Club performed original works from musical composer, James Olivero, in a collection entitled, Songs from the World House. The Glee Club was featured in an American Family Insurance commercial with the famous recording artist Jennifer Hudson. Prior to the Covid Pandemic, the Glee Club with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra featuring the work Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson.

The Covid 19 pandemic did not stop the Morehouse College Glee Club. We performed virtually for our annual concert in 2021 and 2022 and with the Spelman College Glee Club for our annual Christmas Carol Concerts. Additionally, the Glee Club did virtual workshops with choral organizations in Atlanta and Boston. In 2022 they safely finished the tour that they had to abandon in 2020 because of the Covid 19. The Glee Club has performed internationally on several different occasions: African Nations – Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria (1972), Russia (1996), Poland (1998), Bermuda (2001), the Bahamas (2005), South Africa (2008), Canada and Puerto Rico (2011), Honduras (2018), Algeria (2019), and performed the 50th Anniversary Tour of Nigeria in July 2022 also performing with other choirs from Lagos, Enugu, Nsukka, and Abuja.

Tickets:

Standard Seat: $39.00*
Premium Seat: $48.00*
Value Seat: $29.00*
Obstructed Seat: $20.00*
Box Seat: $63.00*
Pit Seat: $57.00*

*Plus taxes and fees

For more information or to purchase tickets to this performance, contact our Bank of the James Ticketing Office at (434) 846-8499.

Sponsored By:

 
National Endowment for the Arts

Know before you go:

Age Requirement

All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket for this event unless otherwise stated. All ages are welcome.

Camera Policy

Videography and audio recording during the performances are prohibited. Photography of the set on stage is allowed pre-show, post-show, and during intermission. But we do ask that you show our designers and visiting performers some love by crediting them (and by tagging us) in your social media posts.

Content Advisory

The Academy Center of the Arts offers a diverse selection of entertainment. Not all productions may appeal to or be appropriate for every guest or for all ages. Ticket buyers should take responsibility for making informed decisions regarding their purchases. We recommend visiting the official show website of each show you are coming to see at the Academy. If you ever have questions about the content or appropriateness of a show, please contact us at [email protected].

Doors Open

Our lobby doors open 60 minutes prior to show time. House doors open 30 minutes prior to show time for seating.

Parking & Directions

Parking is available on-site and throughout downtown Lynchburg. Our parking map (linked below) shows all of the free public and paid parking available. In addition, street parking is also available on most streets.

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Volunteer

Want to volunteer and see this show for free? Contact Mele Thompson, [email protected]for more information.