The Morehouse College Glee Club
The Morehouse College Glee Club celebrated 100 years of its musical legacy throughout the 2011 calendar year, beginning with an Alumni Reunion Concert and recording in February and culminating with a concert at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in October. It has continued in this tradition through the dedication and commitment of its members and the leadership that our directors have provided throughout the years. Through its tradition, the Glee Club has an impressive history and seeks to secure its future through even greater accomplishments. It is the mission of the Morehouse College Glee Club to maintain a high standard of musical excellence.
In 1911, Morehouse College, which was then Atlanta Baptist College, had a music professor named Georgia Starr. She served the College from 1903-1905 and again from 1908-1911. Wendell Phillips Whalum, Sr., '52, took the helm as the Glee Club's second director. Dr. Whalum was a prized student of Kemper Harreld and had served as Student Director during his tenure in the Glee Club. Dr. Whalum, more commonly known as "Doc," served Morehouse College and the Glee Club with the continued tradition of excellence until his passing on June 9, 1987. From 1961-1963 Albert T. Perkins served as interim Director while Dr. Whalum finished coursework for the doctoral degree.
In the fall semester of 1987, David E. Morrow, '80, assumed directorship of the Glee Club. David Morrow was a prized student of "Doc," just as "Doc" was of Kemper Harreld. He earned his Masters degree in 1981 and then returned to his alma mater as a part of the music faculty and as Assistant Director of the Glee Club. During the 1992-1993 school year, Harding Epps, '74, served as interim Director while Dr. Morrow finished the coursework for the doctoral degree.
On January 18, 1993, the Glee Club, as part of the Morehouse-Spelman Chorus, sang at Atlanta's Symphony Hall with soprano Jessye Norman in a concert celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The Glee Club also performed the National Anthem with Natalie Cole for Super Bowl XXVIII. They participated with Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan and Trisha Yearwood in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games held in Atlanta. In February 2002, the Glee Club performed for the Witness Concert with the Plymouth Music Series and premiered the work Of Dreams and Other Possibilities written by Patrice Rushen. In 2004, the Glee Club performed with Take 6 at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta. In 2008, the Glee Club recorded the spiritual "He'?s Got the Whole World in His Hands" for Spike Lee?s movie Miracle at St. Anna. Earlier that year, they performed with mezzo soprano Denyce Graves for the inaugural concert for the 10th president of Morehouse College, Dr. Robert M. Franklin, '?75. In August 2011, the Glee Club performed for events leading to the dedication of the King Monument on the National Mall and later that year recorded "Zachary and the Scaly Bark Tree" by Bill Lee for his son, Spike Lee'?s movie Red Hook Summer. The Glee Club has also performed internationally in West Africa (1972), Russia (1996), Poland (1998), Bermuda (2001), the Bahamas (2005), South Africa (2008) Canada and Puerto Rico (2011).
The current members come from all over the United States and from places around the world. While many are music majors, our singers come from majors in all divisions of the college. Even though some members take Glee Club as a course for credit, all members still sing as a labor of love and enjoy being ambassadors for Morehouse College.
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