by Jack and Joy Houston
Dubbed ‘Musical Ambassadors’, 55 members of the all-male University of Notre Dame Glee Club of Indiana will sing again in Guatemala, in joint concert with 25 members of the co-ed Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra. Concerts will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 30, at Iglesia San Francisco El Grande in La Antigua, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the Cathedral in Guatemala City, both offered free of charge.
Performances are sponsored in part by the Notre Dame Alumni Club in Guatemala, with some three dozen members. Alumnus Philip (class of ’89) and Christina Wilson of La Antigua, who will host the group for lunch, emphasize, “In addition to a great opportunity to hear beautiful music, one of the motives is to encourage more Guatemalans to apply to Notre Dame.” An additional concert will be given for school groups.
The current tour includes concerts in Mexico. The University of Notre Dame Glee Club, formed in 1915 and recognized as one of the finest collegiate choral groups in the United States, has toured around the world. Director Daniel C. Stowe said after the 2005 tour, “In terms of hospitality and consistently large audiences, Latin America was the best trip we’ve ever had.”
Stowe also directs the Symphony Orchestra and recently teamed the two groups in joint performance. The versatile repertoire has Russian and German music, American spirituals and barbershop harmony, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner and a lot more. Undoubtedly, the program in Guatemala will bring rousing applause for Luna de Xelajú and another sure crowd-pleaser, the Notre Dame Victory March.
The Glee Club regularly performs two hours before home games of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, but for their part, “They’d rather sing than fight.”
Donations will be accepted for repairs on the Metropolitan Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco El Grande.