Brothers in Song: A New Guy's Perspective

Posted by Kyle Walenta, Community Outreach Manager on April 18, 2013 at 23:41

Of all the rewarding things the Glee Club does, Brothers in Song has certainly been for me one of the most exciting and rewarding. Being only a freshman myself, this is the first year I have been both honored and excited to be able to participate. In the fall, we partnered with a strong male chorus from Detroit School of the Arts, and expanded this winter semester all the way to Washington D.C.  The boys from Duke Ellington School of the Arts were more than a pleasure to work with. Mentoring and singing with the students and seeing how we came together with such ease due to our shared passion for music resulted in me feeling empowered to give the students a glimpse into the collegiate experience.

Coming out of high school, music was something I knew was essential in my life and the Men’s Glee Club here at Michigan has been far more than just another musical outlet. Being a clubber has blessed me with growing friendships and a chance to push myself musically, but certainly the outreach is what drives me.  If I am able to touch one high school student’s life, whether that be encouraging them to pursue college, a musical career, or just putting a smile on their face, then I feel as if I have made a difference. UMMGC is about more than just performing and tradition. It is about using song and camaraderie to inspire. When we walked into the Duke Ellington School to share a meal and begin to form relationships with the students, I instantly knew it was going to be something special.  I was paired with three sophomores who were all extremely friendly and talented. All three were members of their show choir, and hearing about their experiences brought back memories of my own theatre days. After singing Varsity and the Victors for them, they sang one of their pieces for us and I was blown away by their talent. It will truly be an honor to have them join us on stage on our upcoming spring tour and for the club at large to be impressed by our combined pieces.  They were more than prepared, and Dr. Rogers genuinely related to them how amazed he was by their talent as an ensemble. I cannot wait for our tour stop in D.C. to catch up with the young men I met. Going forward, I will strive to take part in every future Brothers in Song experience. The city itself was absolutely stunning and the fellow clubbers alongside me only enhanced the trip.  I can honestly express that taking part in this outreach program was the most valuable and fulfilling experience of my entire freshman year at this outstanding university.

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