150 years of glee

Harvard Glee Club
This summer, the Harvard Glee Club is celebrating its sesquicentennial with a nationwide tour.
Harvard Glee Club

Minnesota isn't alone in celebrating a 150th birthday this year. Like the nation's 32nd state, the Harvard Glee Club was also born in 1858.

The chorus is the oldest college choir in the country and has counted Leonard Bernstein, John Harbison and Hugh Wolff among its members.

This summer, 50 members of the Harvard Glee Club are celebrating the group's sesquicentennial with a six-week tour. Their first performance was in Phoenix, and they sang in the Twin Cities on July 1. The tour winds up on Friday at Chicago's St. James Cathedral.

The singers were in the middle of their fifth week of touring when they arrived in MPR's Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio, looking a bit tired and, well, scruffy. But they were friendly and attentive as they sang a few folk songs from their tour repertoire.

Classical music host Steve Staruch spoke with Harvard Glee Club music director Jameson Marvin. He's called Jim by his singers, and is only the fifth conductor in the choir's long history.

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