Acclaimed Michigan glee club to perform at Puyallup High

May 13 performance will feature University of Michigan vocal group

Staff writerMay 7, 2014 

Since 1859, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club has built a reputation as one of the finest male choruses in the world.

On Tuesday, they will bring their distinctive sound to the Puyallup High School auditorium.

Under the direction of Eugene Rogers, the Men’s Glee Club will perform a free concert starting at 7 p.m. They will perform a repertoire of music by West Coast composers.

The concert is billed as the only public school concert and Washington concert during the club’s current tour.

On Tuesday morning, 175 boys from choirs in the Puyallup, Bethel and Clover Park school districts, and Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma and Ballard High School in Seattle, will be part of a workshop conducted by Rogers.

Peggy Burrough, a retired music educator from the Puyallup School District who is helping to organize the event, said the boys will be taught three songs and then will have the opportunity to perform with the Glee Club on Tuesday night.

For Bernard Crouse, choir director at Spanaway Lake High School in the Bethel School District, the experience is especially poignant. He was a member of the Glee Club during the mid-1960s.

“I graduated from the University of Michigan in 1969,” Crouse said. “I went around the world in 1967 with the choir.”

Countries Crouse visited with the choir in 1967 included India, England, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

“It was a real eye-opener,” Crouse said.

Crouse, who said he’s retiring from teaching at the end of this school year after 29 years, is looking forward to returning to Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2017 for the 50th anniversary of the 1967 world tour.

Crouse said 40 of his students will attend the workshop Tuesday morning.

“This workshop gives all the guys the experience to sing with the Glee Club,” Crouse said. “I tell my young men to stick with singing and sing in college, because you get wonderful experiences touring the world.”

Crouse is hopeful University of Michigan’s visit Tuesday will inspire the 175 boys to want to graduate from high school and go onto college.

if you go

The University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club will perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Puyallup High School auditorium. The school is at 105 7th St. S.W. in downtown Puyallup. Admission is free.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes Twitter: @herald_andrew

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