The West Point Alumni Glee Club from Aldie have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 19 as part of a presentation by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) celebrating President’s Day Weekend.
In July 2007, 156 graduates of West Point, from the classes of 1952 through 2001, gathered for the first Glee Club Reunion Concert at Trophy Point with the USMA Band. Following the success of the event, the West Point Alumni Glee Club was established that fall.
The members average almost 20 years of active duty service with over 75 percent being combat veterans, founder Terry Ryan said. The group’s goal is to spread the love of music among warriors, to sing for veterans, servicemen, and their families, and to generate funds to provide additional support to the Cadet Glee Club that will enable them to travel further and perform more as ambassadors of West Point and the Army, according to its website.
The West Point Alumni Glee Club will also be performing at a salute to veterans dinner event 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the River Creek Country Club, put on by the Rotary Club of Leesburg. Interested parties can make a reservation at www.leesburg-rotary.org, Ryan said.
Forty regular members of the club will perform in New York, with 20 more flying from around the country to join them. In addition to the West Point Alumni Glee Club performing, Guest Conductor Lee Nelson will conduct Randall Thompson’s The Testament of Freedom in honor of President’s Day.
The Testament of Freedom was written to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Thomas Jefferson and to acknowledge his role in founding the University of Virginia. Since then, the work’s hymn-like melodies and compelling harmonic structure set atop the Founding Father’s stirring prose has made it a staple of the male chorus repertoire. Its premiere was 71 years ago at Carnegie Hall, on April 14, 1945 as part of a concert in memory of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died two days earlier, DCINY PR Representative Andrew Ousley said in a release.
Dr. James Mick, director of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, will also lead a program, Ousley said.
The performance starts at 1 p.m. Feb. 19 and tickets are available through Carnegie Hall. By using the code WPA25563, the West Point Alumni Glee Club gets half the proceeds of the purchase, which are tax deductible.
The group usually gives one performance a week. Most of the 53 members have been with the club since its founding. The group performs predominantly in the DMV, but have gone as far as Connecticut and Georgia.