I can still see the rickety wooden grand staircase in Hendrie Hall as I wound my way upstairs to the Glee Club rooms. The wooden vastness of the empty rehearsal room; the cramped quarters of the Glee Club office and Fenno Heath’s oversized private office. Photos everywhere along the walls, musty piles of music, and dog-eared copies of the Yale Songbook. The place was redolent of nineteenth-century tradition and, yes, with it a certain degree of decay.
Ah, but the resonance of those wooden floors and walls, the acoustically perfect square shape. There was a mystique to the place. The fabulous, floor-length vaulted windows added a cathedral-like dimension; it was an honor to have any reason to be there. And those of us who sang with the Freshman, the Apollo, or the venerable Glee Club spent countless happy hours perfecting the Football Medley and the many songs of Yale, readying ourselves for joint concerts with Harvard, Princeton, or Vassar. And what a thrill to perform with the newly created Yale Women’s Chorus in that final year of the Glee Club as a men’s chorus.
– Jim Weber