2014 UVA Reunions, Part II: The Rotunda

Rotunda Capital
Rotunda Capital

I got a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Rotunda on Saturday. The Rotunda, Jefferson’s library and the centerpiece of his Academical Village, just got done with a roof replacement and now enters the second, more extensive phase of its renovations as they redo the mechanical systems and get ready to return it to a building more integrated with student life. The guide said that they were inspired by the way students took to the McGregor Room in Alderman when it was turned into study space after Special Collections moved into its new dedicated building, and hope to recreate that effect in the oval room across from the Board of Visitors meeting room on the second floor. I can’t think of anything better.

The tour itself was fascinating. We stood in the lower oval rooms on the ground floor and learned what they’ve reconstructed about the larger role of the chemistry labs in the earliest days of the university, when the Rotunda was not just library but also science classroom. We marveled at the graffiti left by builders in the portland cement  lining the cistern buried in the east courtyard, long hidden under a fountain. And we got to ascend both tiers of balcony above the Dome Room floor, which have long been off limits to regular tours.

The last part was the most special. Behind an opened panel on the north wall was a small chamber housing the machinery for the north clock. There was a 1970s era unfinished wood structure around the clock mechanism. And the wood structure was covered by signatures of probationary classes of the University Guide Service. The Guides’ secret hideaway had long been a legend, and seeing it in broad daylight was surprising at first. But as I wrote to a friend, I felt that the Guides found a way to become part of the historic fabric of the building in an intimately familiar and ultimately respectful way, just like the builders who left their names in the cement of the cistern. Seeing the signatures meant that my friends had found a way to become a deep part of the history of the University.

Check the Flickr photoset for more.

2014 UVa Reunions, part 1: The Library

Alderman Library reference room.
Alderman Library reference room.

My 20th reunion has been a great time to connect with friends, gawk at the architecture (again), and disappear into the library. —Wait, what?

I got into Charlottesville on Thursday for reunions weekend, and headed straight to the library. I was on the trail of the mysterious Glee Club concert program. I found the mention of William Wood Glass‘s correspondence with Ada Bantz Beardsworth in January of this year, and one sentence in the finding aid was electrifying: “He also included programs for the University of Virginia Glee Club.” 

In the end, the discovery was simple. I went to Special Collections, requested the box of correspondence, opened it, and there it was: a program for the February 12, 1894 Glee Club concert. Featuring E.A. Craighill, author of the Good Old Song,  and the same concert program that the Club took on that 1893–1894 tour, the program formed the second earliest record we have of an actual Glee Club performance. It also had a human dimension: Glass wrote a letter to Ada on the front and back, describing the concert and its aftermath. He notes, “We had a fine time, but not as large a house as we anticipated. I made a great mash on one of Miss Baldwin’s girls.”

I’m getting the program scanned properly. It should be part of our permanent record of Club’s history.

I returned to Alderman on Friday to dig through other holdings. I finally laid eyes on the January 1871 copy of the Virginia University Magazine, which fixes our earliest date for the Glee Club, and made my way through much of the collection of Corks and Curls. I’ll post about some of those findings another time.

Virginia Glee Club History: Wanted

As I go through the process of researching the history of the Virginia Glee Club, occasionally I run across sources that are hard to get to from my home in Massachusetts but that would lend enormous value to our search. I’m posting the current list of sources in the hope that someone can help me find a copy of the source so I can fill in the blanks in our understanding of the past.

Why are some sources hard to find? There are usually a couple of reasons–either the item hasn’t been digitized (but thanks to references in other sources we know that it exists), or the item has been digitized but Google, in its infinite wisdom, isn’t making a full copy of the source available.

The current list:

  1. Corks and Curls volume 1 (1888). According to the snippet view search, Page 92 contains a description and information about that year’s Glee Club, about which we have very little information.
  2. Corks and Curls volume 2 (1889). Again, tantalizing glimpses indicate that pages 10, 96, and 97 reference the Glee Club. This is especially tantalizing because our only prior evidence about the group says that it did not organize in 1888-1889.
  3. Corks and Curls volume 3 (1890). Page 106ff appears to supplement what little we know about the group in 1889-1890.
  4. Additional papers of Ada Bantz Beardsworth, Box folder 23:2. This is a funny one, but apparently the subject had a former boyfriend in the Virginia Glee Club (William Wood Glass), who sang in the Glee Club in the 1895-1896 season. And they corresponded, and he sent her concert programs! We only have one concert program of the Club prior to 1900 so this item, in the UVA Library Special Collections, would be quite a find.
  5. Programs from the 1980s and the 2000s. For whatever reason, we have more knowledge about concerts in the 1940s through the 1970s than we do about the 1980s, 2000s, and even 2010s (thanks to a few generous alums we have the 1990s mostly covered). Anyone holding a cache of concert programs from these eras?

So if there are any sleuths out there with access to the UVA Library or other repositories of rare Virginiana, who can help me out with a scanner, I’d be eternally grateful.

Virginia Glee Club history: the University Band and the Arcadians

Virginia Glee Club recording with the University Band, 1947 (courtesy UVA Visual History archives)

I’ve devoted some of my Virginia Glee Club historical research time to non-Glee Club topics in an effort to better understand the life of the average Club guy across the decades of the group’s existence. In the process, I’ve learned some interesting things about Club itself.

First, other musical groups, namely the University Band. If you think the Club has had a checkered history, what with multiple potential founding dates and occasional fallow years, then check out the band! Though instrumental music has an earlier start date than organized glee clubs, with the first reference to student instrumental groups coming in 1832, there were not only many starts and stops but also outright faculty opposition. In a foreshadowing of this year’s performance space flap, students were forbidden in the late 1830s from practicing instruments except between the hours of 2 and 3 in the afternoon, or from four to eight o’clock at night—and never on Sunday. So formal bands died out, to be replaced by the Calathumps — not a good tradeoff for order at the University. New organized bands sprouted in the early 20th century but seemed always to die away, so you had a founding of a band in 1908–09, another in 1910–11, another in the 1920s, another in 1934, a dwindling to almost nothing in the early 1960s, and then a resurgence with significant donor money in 2004. The last refounding of the Band, with the clear goal of the extinguishing of the Pep Band, doesn’t reflect well on student self governance, but at least it got a band that had instruments and practice space.

Second, the Arcadians. I’ve written about them before, but it’s interesting to study this group in a little more detail. The University had had a small dramatic group, the VVV Club, in the early 1900s, but the Arcadians were something else—seriously organized, putting on big shows, and apparently sucking in all the musical talent. In 1904 the University only had 662 students, not reaching over 1000 until 1915–16, and the pool of available students wasn’t big enough to support both a Glee Club and a dramatic group that performed musicals. So, after five musicals, the Arcadians were bankrupt and no student groups remained to put on entertainments. Enter the Glee Club of 1910–11. And, given that there were only a few additional fallow years from this season forward, we can really thank the poor financial management skills of the Arcadians with giving the Glee Club the opportunity to get back on its feet for good.

Careless Love: The Virginia Glee Club in the 1950s

Glee Club 1956 promo acetate

There’s not a lot to say about the Virginia Glee Club in the later 1950s, seemingly. The group lost one of its more influential directors, Stephen Tuttle, to Harvard in 1952, and saw two directors alternate during the remaining years. There were tours, sure; legend has it there were even panty raids on other campuses. But no LP survives from the period between 1952 for almost 20 years; no big commissioned work exists; nothing remains but a bunch of concert programs.

Except this. The image above is of an acetate recording that was made as a promo record and sent to radio stations. Seems that Donald MacInnis didn’t spend much time with his group recording because they spent time trying to get on live radio. We know they were broadcast on WTVR radio, probably as a result of this acetate.

(Aside: an “acetate” is actually made of aluminum—or, in the WWII years, glass—coated with a thin layer of lacquer. You could cut one live, and some did, but you could also copy prerecorded music onto it. It was common to use acetates for promotional recordings when the number of playbacks was unlikely to be high. You can see the aluminum under the black lacquer of this disk around the hole of the record.)

The repertoire on the disk is interesting, too. The Bach is pretty straightforward, but it’s followed up by a downright woozy version of “Careless Love,” and then by MacInnis’s own version of Tom Lehrer’sThe Hunting Song.” I’m trying to imagine that on a Glee Club program today. In fact, I’d pay money to see this paean to hunting, in which the protagonist bags 7 hunters, two game wardens, and a cow, on a modern day program.

It’s a fun recording, albeit short, at around 6 and a half minutes. 

Cousin Frantz


As these things tend to go, my Virginia Glee Club history project has ebbs and flows. Sometimes there’s not a lot to write about; sometimes there’s too much. Like this past week, when I nailed down the identity of a few presidents of the Glee Club and discovered one was a third cousin.

I should have known that when I found someone named Frantz Hershey, he would turn out to be a relative. It turns out that not only do I know him, I have him in my genealogy. Ezra Frantz Hershey, Jr. was the president of the Glee Club in 1938–1939; he was also the son of E.F. Hershey, first cousin of Milton Hershey and treasurer of the Hershey Chocolate Company for over 40 years. Frantz is therefore my third cousin, twice removed.

As they say, you can’t make this stuff up.

I also confirmed Dan Vincent and Thad Polk as presidents of the Club in 1984-85 and 1985-86, thanks to a newly available Cavalier Daily article that showed up in Google News since the last time I checked. Surprisingly, even with those discoveries, I know less about the 1980s presidents than almost any other decade: I’m still missing information about 1980–81, 1981–82, and 1986–87. Always more work to do…

1938 Virginia Football Songbook

Footballsongs 1938

Amidst disappointing news from the University of Virginia this week, I received an unexpected pleasure in the mail today: a 1938 University song book meant for football games and boxing matches.

As with the 1911 song book I posted about a few years ago, this one contains the lyrics (but no music) to commonly known songs for the student body to sing at sporting events. Unlike the previous edition, 27 years later the repertoire had shrunk to just four songs: “Virginia, Hail, All Hail,” “The Cavalier Song,” “Hike, Virginia” (with the Carolina lyrics), and of course “The Good Old Song”–first and second verse.

The advertisers list had shrunk too. The sponsoring businesses were just two: Bruton’s Barber Shop (Charlottesville’s Finest!) and Valley View Greenhouses, both near what is now the Downtown Mall.

For me, as with the previous version, it makes me happy to think about generations past of UVa students singing these song at sporting events. The full photo set is on Flickr: enjoy!

“Must be able to carry a tune”


In the process of putting together the Virginia Glee Club Wiki, containing the history of that illustrious 171-year-old assemblage, I’ve made my way through just about every official archive of Glee Club history. But there are gaps to be filled, so I’ve resorted to eBay. I’ve picked up yearbooks, magazines, and other ephemera trying to find information on missing years. And in the process, I’ve gotten hooked on the convenience and the thrill of it all. I’ve also grown a little blasé about it, paradoxically enough–one too many speculative purchases of Virginiana has ended in a cold trail, historically speaking.

So I wasn’t expecting much when I won an auction for the September 1935 edition of the University of Virginia Magazine (winning bid: $1.50). To my surprise, though, I hit pay dirt. This was the “new student” issue of the magazine, and it featured essays from each of the leaders of the (non-fraternity) student groups introducing to prospective students such Virginia institutions as Corks & Curls, the UVA Band, the Jefferson Society …. and the Glee Club.

I’ve posted the top half of the article above, including a pretty fair pen-and-ink caricature of the Club’s raconteur director from the 1930s, Harry Rogers Pratt. The rest of the article and a transcription have been posted to the wiki on the biography page of its author, Glee Club president Rial Rose. The article is pretty modest about the group’s requirements and ambitions:

There are just two things that are absolutely required of a man who wishes to join the University of Virginia Glee Club. He must be enrolled at the University, and he must be able to carry a tune.

But Rose does a spectacular job of defining the college glee club of the 1930s and painting a picture of what’s involved:

Now, a College Glee Club, in these days, is a very ambitious organization. It attempts to combine the best of all these various kinds of music. The religious and folk music of the negroes and Cossacks appear on the same programs with the popular and “pretty” music of the “Pennsylvanians,” and with the strong, soul-stirring music of the great composers. In 1934-35, for instance, the University Glee Club sang music of America, England, Germany, Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, and the Latin Church, while a quartet sang negro songs, on a typically arranged program. And, not content with merely singing the music, we attempted to perform it nearly as possible in the various styles of the peoples it represented.

For me, this is what’s so fascinating about the history of this group. Save for one or two phrases, this could be a description of the Glee Club I sang in, or the one that is under the direction of Frank Albinder today. But then in the middle, there’s that reminder that the Glee Club, like the University, was a creature of its times: “negro songs.”  At least this incarnation of the Glee Club wasn’t performing them in blackface.

Virginia football songs for the Chik-Fil-A Bowl


So here we are, on the eve of the last Virginia football game of 2011. At the beginning of the season, I had no hopes for a bowl game, in only the second season of the Mike London era. And yet here we are, in the Peach Bowl (now called the Chik-Fil-A Bowl) against Auburn.

As the historian of the Virginia Glee Club Alumni and Friends Association, I’ve had a special place in my heart for the football songs of the University, and I’ve written many posts about the origins of the songs. In honor of the game tonight, here’s all the posts in one convenient list. Enjoy!

The commencement of the author of “The Good Old Song”

Page 3 of the 1895 Public Days program showing E.A. Craighill, Jr.

A while ago, I picked up an interesting historical keepsake from eBay–the program from the University of Virginia’s 1895 Public Days, aka graduation. I was hoping to find some Glee Club value here, and I got it. The program lists 1895-96 Glee Club president McLane Tilton, Jr. as completing his undergraduate degree, and also has a familiar face picking up his Law degree–E. A. Craighill, otherwise known as the author of “The Good Old Song.”

It’s fun to look at the document and realize how different the University was then. Most of the degrees are professional or graduate degrees because the four-year bachelors degree was virtually unknown then. It wouldn’t be until a few years later that curriculum reform at Virginia and other universities standardized the four-year undergraduate degree that we are all familiar with today.

I posted scans of the whole thing to Flickr; enjoy.

Just Another Touchdown for U.Va.

UVa football at Lambeth Field, Holsinger studio

It’s Saturday, so it’s time for another post about UVa’s football song heritage. This week’s contest isn’t one of those like the South’s Oldest Rivalry that has inspired its own set of songs—Virginia has only played Southern Mississippi a handful of times in the history of the program. The contest against Southern Miss in 2009 did not have the best outcome for UVa, so this week’s song is to inspire those members of the Cavaliers community to redouble their energies in supporting the team.

Stephen M. O’Brien, who graduated from the University in 1902 and went on to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1914, would have appreciated having “Just Another Touchdown for U.Va.” used in this context. His song, written to the tune of “Just A Little Bit Off The Top” (the same tune as “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”), has been used to marshal the spectators against Carolina, Norfolk, and Georgetown at various times. The third verse in the oldest printing of the lyrics extant (Songs of the University of Virginia, 1906) is as follows:

We’ve just come from Norfolk for the day–the day,
To-morrow we’ll go back to U.Va., V-a,
We’ll gather in Carolina’s tin, Virginia’s sure to win,
Ray! ray!! ray!!! then, and make a mighty din.

But in the 1911 University of Virginia football songbook, it’s transformed to:

We’ve just come to Georgetown for the day–the day,
Tomorrow we’ll go back to U.Va.,
We’ll gather in old Georgetown’s tin, Virginia’s sure to win,
Yell like hell then and make a mighty din.

And in the version performed by the Virginia Glee Club (arranged by Club’s conductor Arthur Fickenscher sometime between 1920 and 1933), the third verse is omitted entirely, but in the second verse the song has “Carolina’s mighty lame” (sometimes “Maryland’s mighty lame”) instead.

So I’d propose this set of words for this week:

Just another touchdown for U.V-a, V-a,
Just another touchdown for U.V-a, V-a,
Carry the ball a yard or two, we’ll tell you when to stop,
Yell, boys, yell, boys, Virginia’s on the top.

Just watch the men whose jerseys bear the V, the V
If up-to-date football you want to see, to see,
They stop the bucks, they block the kicks, the Golden Eagles are lame,
And the ball goes over, Virginia’s got the game.

The South’s Oldest Rivalry

Unidentified North Carolina crowd at the UVa Thomas Jefferson statue; photo by studio of Rufus Holsinger


Last Saturday wasn’t the best day in the Jarrett household. Having taught my four year old daughter to sing The Good Old Song, it was a disappointment to lose to Carolina, 28-17. But you have to have a long view in these things. The fight with Carolina is The South’s Oldest Rivalry, after all, and in the long view we’re only back four games (58 Carolina victories, 54 Virginia victories, and 4 ties).

Being a member of the Virginia Glee Club gives some unique perspective on the longevity of the rivalry. One of the songs on the most recent Glee Club CD, Songs of Virginia (available for purchase on Amazon! and on the Glee Club’s site!), reflects the rivalry. “Oh, Carolina” is one of the few numbers on the disc that manages to be both edgy and funny at once:

See the Tar Heels, how they’re running
Turpentine from every pore.
They can manufacture rosin,
But they’ll never, never score.

While there’s no good record to indicate how long the song has been around, it may date almost to the beginning of the rivalry. The author of the lyrics, William Roane Aylett, Jr., graduated from the University in 1895 with his medical degree and was in his first autumn on Grounds in 1892 when the first match was played (Virginia won the first match that year in Charlottesville, Carolina the second in Atlanta). Eleven years later, the song was still in circulation, as evidenced by its presence in A. Frederick Wilson’s collected Songs of the University of Virginia (published 1906). It also appears in a 1911 football program book along with other song texts. And after that, nothing until the Songs of Virginia recording.

There’s no evidence that the song was ever performed in a Glee Club concert, for instance–though there would have been lots of opportunities. UNC was the Virginia Glee Club’s oldest partner in its annual fall openings concerts (later “kickoff concerts”), with joint performances with the UNC Glee Club in 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, and 1977 and with the UNC Women’s Chorus in 1988 (from the records we have handy); none of the programs mention anything about the smell of turpentine.

But the song is handy as a reminder: not only did (do) UVa students take this hundred-plus-year rivalry with the Tar Heels seriously, they also sang about it. In the bleachers. At football games.

Say, maybe it’s time to make up a song about the Hokies…

From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill

Gearing up for today’s UVa football game against Indiana is a lot more fun now that my daughter is old enough to enjoy the game. Since last week she’s been imploring me to “sing ‘The Good Old Song,’ daddy! –and the second verse!” I’ve also started to teach her “Virginia, Hail, All Hail.”

One Virginia song that I won’t be teaching her is “From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill.” This most problematic, often hand-wrung-about of the Virginia songs is unlike any of the other ones I’ve written about because there is no clear author–as well as little among the lyrics that can be sung in public. But I think that if you put on a different hat, that of the folk song collector, it’s easy to find something to admire in the song, even sober.

One of the Glee Club’s past officers was Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr., about whom I’ve written before. His Traditional Ballads of Virginia shows how folk songs change as they are passed from person to person, and even how some lyrics move from song to song; for instance, verses of “Lady Isabel and the Elf-Knight” (known in Virginia as “Pretty Polly”) fetch up in “Young Hunting” (known as “Lord Henry” or, in Bob Dylan’s rendition, “Love Henry”). Also, melodies tend to get reused from song to song, with lyrics appropriate for the occasion being fit to much older tunes.

So it is with “From Rugby Road to Vinegar Hill.” Let’s start with the tune. Like many Virginia songs–“The Good Old Song” from “Auld Lang Syne,” “Oh Carolina” from “Clementine,” “Hike Virginia” from “Hot Feet,” “Just Another Touchdown for U.Va” from “Just a Little Bit Off the Top”–“Rugby Road” recycles another tune. In this case, the roots of the tune reach back to Charles Ives’ “Son of a Gambolier,” penned in 1895, and maybe even to “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” a Confederate marching tune, but the immediate antecedent is “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech.” The history of college songs generally is full of this sort of campus-to-campus transmission of melody, arguing for college songs as a special form of folk song.

Then there are the lyrics, and here the similarity to transmitted ballad songs is even more apparent. While the first verse is highly topical to Virginia, with echoes of the shot that killed John A. G. Davis on the Lawn in 1841 ringing through “The faculty are afraid of us, they know we’re in the right,” and the traditional poles of Grounds (“Rugby Road”) and downtown Charlottesville (“Vinegar Hill”) serving as the site of the revels, the second traditional verse is more timeless. The second verse of “Rugby Road” begins:

All you girls from Mary Washington and R.M.W.C.,
Don’t ever let a Virginia man an inch above your knee

Far from being a waggish invention of some Wahoo or other, this line is practically a lock-stock-and-barrel lift from “The Dundee Weaver,” a bawdy Glaswegian street song:

Come aa ye Dundee weavers an tak this advise fae me
Never let a fellae an inch abune yer knee

Does knowing the history of the song make it any less offensive to a modern, coeducational University? Maybe not, especially considering how very offensive are some of the other verses that have been dreamed up over the years. But I think trying to throw the song out in its entirety misses an important clue to how the college songs that Wahoos sing as they watch football–and drink–came about and why some persist.

Virginia, Hail, All Hail

Excerpt from the manuscript of the Fickénscher arrangement of “Virginia, Hail, All Hail”

Here it is, the best part of most UVa seasons–that time when the first game hasn’t started yet and the air is still full of anticipation. I’ve been playing UVa songs, mostly Virginia Glee Club repertoire, since earlier this week, and can’t wait to see what the new year’s football team will bring.

In honor of the week, here are a few past articles I’ve written about UVa football songs:

UVa’s second Jewish professor and the Virginia Yell Song. “Lehman’s humor is present in the “Virginia Yell Song,” written when he was an undergraduate. The only UVa football song with a parenthetical interjection, it sounds in places like a conversation between slightly jaded onlookers who will only cheer a winning team…”

Glee Club football songs: “Hike, Virginia”. “As I noted earlier this year, spectators used to sing at Virginia football games. And not just “The Good Old Song”–there were songs for every occasion and for every foe. A 1911 football song book that has come into my possession indicates part of how they were able to pull this off, by having lyrics in front of every fan, but there was much more required to make it happen, from the presence of a band (or the Glee Club) at games to Virginia fans who would write songs to be sung by the crowd. One of these fans was L. D. Crenshaw, and the song was “Hike, Virginia,” cowritten by Crenshaw and C.S. McVeigh.”

Glee Club history: from “The Cavalier Song” to McCarthy. “the University’s two official songs were chosen through a contest sponsored by College Topics (now The Cavalier Daily) in 1923. Seeking official University songs, the contest netted “Virginia, Hail, All Hail!“, byGlee Club alum John Albert Morrow, and “The Cavalier Song,” by English instructor Lawrence Lee and Glee Club alum Fulton Lewis, Jr. While most alums are familiar with “Virginia, Hail, All Hail!” only, if at all, through Glee Club performances, “The Cavalier Song” has been played at Virginia sports events by the various bands (University Band, Pep Band, Cavalier Marching Band) during the school’s history since its introduction. Because it’s typically performed as an instrumental, its lyrics have faded into obscurity, meaning that it is Fulton Lewis Jr.’s tune that we know best about the song.”

“Vir-ir-gin-i-a”: from the UVa iPhone app to Bob Dylan. “Featuring an arrangement by long-time Club conductor Donald Loach based on a tune by Handel, the text is by UVa professor Arthur Kyle Davis, Jr. (1897-1972). Davis himself sang in the Glee Club shortly after the group’s reformation by Alfred Lawrence Hall-Quest, serving as secretary during the group’s 1916-1917 season (during which Club performed the blackface musical Oh, Julius!,” a minstrel-show story of life in ancient Rome)….”

The Good Old Song of … The Virginia Glee Club. “Here’s the guy credited with writing the lyrics to “The Good Old Song” between 1893 and 1895—in an 1893 Glee Club photo! The guy who wrote the freakin’ “Good Old Song” was in Club!!!!”

Earliest Virginia Glee Club concert program

I got a digital download the other day from the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. It contained what I’ve jokingly been calling my Historian’s Christmas present–high resolution scans of ten artifacts from the Glee Club’s archives, which have been donated to Special Collections over the years and have therefore been less accessible to Club. One of the items was of particular interest: the earliest known Glee Club concert program, dated December 1891.

Let’s put that in context for a second. This concert happened a mere 20 years after the Glee Club’s founding, and a few years before its first significant tours in 1893. It was before the authoring of the Good Old Song. It was before Thomas Jefferson’s original Rotunda burned to the ground. In fact, the concert was held in the Public Hall, which was the large auditorium in the Annex that was totally consumed by the fire and never rebuilt.

I had known that the concert program existed, because a scan from it was used to illustrate a library exhibit on American song. But that scan was only of the cover. The library digitized both sides for us, including the program and list of members. In doing so, it gave us one of our earliest full Glee Club rosters, and a rare glimpse at the repertoire performed back in the banjo & mandolin days.

Oh–I’ve also been able to do some mini-bios of the Club members listed as officers. See the articles on W. H. Sweeney, W. P. Shelton, W. S. Stuart, Charles L. DeMott, and O. W. Catchings. I particularly like the history on DeMott’s involvement with the founding of the Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club.