Posted by Raul Jimenez, Vice President on April 18, 2013 at 21:45
As my tenure with the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club comes to a close, reflection has become inevitable. From the minute I walked off stage after our Spring Hill Concert, nostalgia has accompanied every second of every day. More importantly, though, I find myself feeling an overwhelming sense gratitude for my brothers in song and the loyal patrons who support us.
When I joined the Men’s Glee Club in the fall of 2009, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never sung in choir before and my definition of a Glee Club had been biased by the show “Glee” which just so happened to premier the week before I auditioned. I would have never predicted the impact that this organization, its musical directors, and its members were going to have on my life.
Whenever I am asked to share my most memorable Glee Club experience, I always mention my very first walk-on in Hill Auditorium. As I walked on stage and looked out into the audience, I could see the alumni scattered around the auditorium, the high school students participating in our High School Tickets Program seated in the mezzanine, members of Dance Marathon seated in the back of the main floor, and our own Michigan classmates cheering from the balcony. Before we hadsung the first note of Laudes Atque Carmina, I had the revelation that changed the rest of my Glee Club experience: I was a part of something much larger than all the individuals on the stage. I was a part of a group whose history and community impact could truly alter the course of my undergraduate career at Michigan.
The University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club provided me with the opportunity to grow in ways that the academic rigor of the University did not provide. This is because the Michigan Men’s Glee Club brings together men with a common passion—singing—and provides them with the experiences and opportunities necessary to grow as musicians, as professionals, as leaders, and—most importantly—as people. From celebrating the Club’s 150th anniversary, to singing on the Great Wall of China, to visiting Washington D.C. and working with the men of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, each experience I lived as a member of the Men’s Glee Club reminded me of that specific walk-on from my freshman year. I was a part of an organization that cannot be defined merely by its musical prowess. Its commitment to the individual Clubbers and its commitment the community is what makes the Men’s Glee Club at Michigan more than a talented singing group.
For all these reasons, I am forever grateful. I am grateful for all my brothers—past, present, and future. As I continue to look back on the last four years of my life, I know they would look very different without the Men’s Glee Club; the last four years would look very different had I not become involved with such an eminent part of Michigan Tradition. I look back with nostalgia, but look ahead with excitement. While I am sad to close this chapter of my life, I am thrilled to become an alumnus of a group that never ceases to produce gentlemen of great character, intellect, and integrity. I look ahead with excitement because I know that the Michigan Men’s Glee Club will continue to help shape Michigan Men for another 153 plus years.