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Late Summer 2009

In This Issue

  • Rardin's "Sound Off" Published
  • Alumni Gathering in Chicago a Great Success
  • Remembering Fred Hindley
  • Remember Your Favorite Songs

From the Director

Director Paul Rardin

The men’s choral repertoire is about to be highly unsettled by a new composition by music director Paul Rardin. Sound Off, a piece for men’s chorus and percussion, was premiered by the Club in November 2009, and will be published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing in September.

As described in Rardin’s liner notes, “Sound Off is a whimsical, rhythm-driven dialogue between an R&B singer and a member of the British aristocracy, as moderated by a U.S. Army drill sargeant. The latter invites each of the four sections of the choir to ‘sound off’ in their unique range and style, in hopes of persuading the other three sections (aristocracy) to embrace the notion of the ‘house party.’”

Sound OffThe piece has generated interest from other choral directors (some of whom have observed the Club’s performances of the piece on YouTube), and will be performed in February 2010 by the Colorado All-State High School Men’s Chorus, conducted by Gregory Gentry.

Visit Santa Barbara Music Publishing in September to see the Club’s video of the piece as recorded by WJRT Flint. While there, listen to the Club’s 2007 performance of the Korean folk song Arirang in the newly published arrangement by Mark Templeton.

Alumni Gathering in Chicago

The weekend of August 7-8 marked the second successive alumni gathering in Chicago, each enhanced by sociality, spirit, and, of course, song! However, for this 2009 version, the radius of locales represented was widened considerably. While most guys hailed from The Windy City and environs, several came a fur piece--like Michael Steelman '03 from DC, Todd Bakal '89 from NYC, and David Waddilove '07, one of the event organizers, from KC.

There were even two current Club members in attendance, taking notes on how to train for bona fide alumni status--Drew Smith '10, a senior music student and also Saturday morning's rehearsal conductor; and Ethan Eagle, a grad student in aeronautical engineering.

Great good fun was had by all. Alumni in attendance ranged in seniority back to 1964-67 and in juniority forward to 2007 with plenty of representation in between. All told, 21 attended the morning sing and about 20 plus several spouses attended the evening event.

Two hours were spent Saturday morning singing Michigan songs as well as the Biebl Ave Maria, all reported shoe-ins to be performed next April at the 150th anniversary reunion. Saturday's rehearsal was held at the historic Blackstone Hotel on Michigan Avenue. It was followed by an independent afternoon with multiple sightseeing options, then capped off with an open bar/dinner/singing event from 5 o'clock on at the fabled Exchequer Restaurant and Pub on Wabash Street, where Al Capone is said to have been a noted if not notorious patron. We enjoyed a room all to ourselves, got a sneak preview of the new history DVD created by Jamie Turner '78, and sang our hearts out over more than ample fare and festivity.

In Memoriam: Fred Hindley

The passing of Fred Hindley ('55) on August 10, 2009 leaves a void in the MGC family, especially in the 1955 overseas tour group. As a member of the first-ever MGC overseas tour, Fred and some 35 other members of the Club performed concerts in postwar Europe during June and July 1955. Fred joined the MGC in 1952, sang second tenor, and later joined the business staff. Fred served in the Army for two years at Fort Jackson. He worked at the University of Michigan’s public radio station WUOM for 35 years until his retirement in 1988. For many years Fred was the program host of the “Noon Show” and served as host each year for the live broadcast of the University Choral Union’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. Fred was an articulate speaker, a loyal friend, a gregarious companion, a generous host, and a stimulating conversationalist. He will be missed by many close friends and long-time fans.

REMINDER: Remember Your Favorite Songs

The 150th Anniversary Core Team is looking for ideas for the Alumni Concert during the 150th Anniversary Weekend. You can help! Dive into your memories and start thinking about the songs you enjoyed when you were a clubber. There will be an online survey in the fall, and you can do your part to help us pick the best songs from each generation. If you have questions or comments, email us at mgc.alumni@umich.edu