Original entry by Blythe Roveland-Brenton, University Archivist,  in an article for the St. John’s Alumni Magazine; Digitized version of recordings created by P. Charles Livermore, Librarian.  News excerpted here for podcast syndication.

Rivard_Glee_club_1948There have been many student choral groups throughout the history of the University. The most long-lived was the St. John’s College Glee Club. This all-male choir formed in 1927.  For a few years during World War II, the group was discontinued, but was again active in 1947, when the Reverend Robert L. Rivard, C.M. became director.  The Glee Club was highly successful, and was regularly featured on radio broadcasts and television programs. One notable milestone occurred in the spring of 1950 when the Glee Club cut a three-record album of some of their most popular secular and religious pieces.  All but one of the selections was sung in four-part harmony without musical accompaniment.  Two of the numbers on the album hold a special significance to the University – “Alma Mater” written by the Reverend Carroll Rosensteel, C.M. and completed by the Reverend Thomas Ryan, C.M., and “Hymn to St. John’s” composed by Father Rivard.

In 1975 the Men’s Glee Club joined forces with the Women’s Glee Club to become a mixed chorus.

Roveland-Brenton, Blythe.   “Gleeful Harmony: A look back at St. John’s Singing Groups.”  St. John’s University Magazine: For Alumni and Friends of the University, Fall 2007.  pp. 44-46.

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