In both presentation and voice, the Princeton University Glee Club embodies refined harmony, donning tuxedos and dresses while performing classical vocal selections. But for two nights each year, the members take on a different role, leading festive and feisty preludes to Princeton’s rivalry football games against Harvard and Yale.
Singing medleys of fight songs tends to draw the rowdiness out of otherwise placid audiences. Concertgoers have been known to launch paper airplanes, interrupt the music with hoots and cheers, and kidnap club mascots (stuffed animals, thankfully, not costumed students).
On Nov. 15 at Richardson Auditorium, Princeton will host Yale in the second leg of the Big Three football concert series, which marks its 100th anniversary this year. To celebrate the centennial, the Princeton and Yale ensembles will join together to perform a new work by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, commissioned for the occasion.
The football concerts are among the most memorable for the performers, according to Matt Walsh ’12, a Glee Club alumnus who is helping to promote this year’s show. Princeton traditionally calls on its freshmen to skewer Yale during a skit performed in the middle of the fight-song medley. “We can break out of our singing of classical compositions and really have some fun on the stage,” Walsh said.
After the concert, the Glee Club will host a special reception at Whitman College and display memorabilia from the first 100 years of the football concert series.
For more information about the Princeton-Yale concert and post-concert reception, visit princetongleeclub.com/centennial.