Morehouse College Glee Club coming to SWU
The Morehouse College Glee Club, an internationally renowned group from Atlanta, is coming to Southern Wesleyan University in Central, 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center.
For nearly a century, the Morehouse College Glee Club has continued a tradition of musical excellence. Over its history, the Glee Club has been a selective group, choosing only the most outstanding singers to become members.
“They are an important ensemble to have on our campus for many reasons,” said Jane Dill, chair of Southern Wesleyan University’s Fine Arts Division and professor of music. “It’s a rare treat to get to hear them, so we are fortunate that they are able to come our way. They sang here in the early 1980s and we just wanted to get them back on our campus.”
The Glee Club officially began in the fall of 1911 at what was then known as Atlanta Baptist College. Kemper Harreld, a member of the college’s music faculty, directed the newly-formed group until his retirement in 1953. The second director was Wendell Phillips Whalum, who continued the Glee Club’s tradition of excellence until his passing in 1987.
The Glee Club is currently led by David Morrow, who assumed directorship of the Glee Club in 1987. Morrow was a prized student of Harreld’s and a scholar at Morehouse College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 as valedictorian. Morrow earned his master’s degree at the University of Michigan in 1981, then returned to his alma mater as a part of the music faculty and as assistant director of the Glee Club.
The Morehouse College Glee Club has a resumé of performances from around the nation and around the world, which includes singing the National Anthem for Super Bowl XXVIII and performing with celebrities such as Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin and Trisha Yearwood. 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.”
The history of the Morehouse College Glee Club is intertwined with our nation’s history, as evidenced by performances at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration in 1977, and at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Glee Club has performed internationally in West Africa, Russia, Poland, Bermuda, the Bahamas and South Africa.
The concert is free and open to the public. For details, contact Dill at (864) 644- 5404 or Dill. To find out more about the Morehouse College Glee Club, visit their Web site at mcgclub.com.