Glee 1936 - History
dc.descriptionA brief history of the Freshman Glee tradition at Willamette along with some anecdotes and other correspondence.
dc.relation.ispartofWillamette University Archives
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dc.titleGlee 1936 - History
local.transcriptionA Glee Tale Ralph S. Barber, L '36 By sophomore year, 1933, I shared the confidence of my classmates Freshman Glee would be another ·,'linner for class. The year before had been an easy win with Clara Wright's (Dean) " song". I probably made other bets in '33, , none of which I can recall. This one I will never forget. You see my sophomore year was a distant third place loser because that a freshman, len Benner, wrote the winning song for her class, then we~ on to win until she was a four time winner by the time she uated. bet that year was with Smith, a senior. His class won second place. The loser, me, pursuant to the terms ed upon, was to place an alarm clock in th~ chapel lectern, set to ring while sident Carl G. Doney, was making tis regular chapel talk. I carefully place;:d the fully wound clock, properly set, al­arm turned on for quarter to twelve, the whole process overseen by Gene. He wouldn't trust me to do it alone, of course. Chapel time came., Lveryone seated. Opening hymn sung. And to my 'dismay a visiting speaker was introduced: Dr. 11ark A. Dawber, professor from my Dad's alma rna , Boston University School of Theology, a fellow Englishman, who had been instrumental in obtain­ing my Dad's scholarship, a frequent visitor with his family in our home t,<lhen we lived in Nassachusetts. had a well-earned reputation as a raconteur and entertaining speaker. I threw a panicky look at Gene, who sat ~cross the aisle. He raised an eyebrow and shrugged. Then he leered, enjqang himself immense • I squirmed and perspired, slinking lower and lower in my seat, eyes glued to my watch dial, carrying on several imaginery conversations calculated to win an aCquittal in case I was caught. Time go fast when you're having fun, but it's molasses in January when you're on the hot ~eat. :Cr. Davlber came to s concluding words --the clock remained silent! I d among the others to speak to Dr. Dawber, who greeted me 'warmly, and ~.;horn I greeted ',<lith intense relief. n everyone had e, I rooted the lectern to find the clock. It was still I pulled it out and checked the alarm button. It was turned off. could that be? Gene stood there, grinning and watching me. Then he confessed. He turned it off. He had chanced to learn a visitor" was the chapel eaker, hurried into el and silenc the clock. When I asked obvious Question: "Why didn't you tell me? He gave the obvious anat,-Jer: ItI just wanted to sit and watch you fiweatl" lamette IVERS TV 150~ 1992 29 May 1991 Mr. Ralph S. Barber 1999 Jansen Way #64 Woodburn, OR 97071 Dear Mr. Barber, Thank you for your delightful letter detailing your glee bet with Eugene Smith. You can be sure I was quite tense while reading it -waiting for the alarm to begin. Little did. Gene know that other people would "sweat" with anticipation!' Thank you for sharing your tale. I hope we will get many, many more. The of '42 is interested in gathering glee memorabilia, your story will make a marvelous addition to the collection. I was glad to read your recollection of Helen Benner. what remarkable talent she had. We hope to do her winning f'ight song during the half time show planned for homecoming weekend. (September 27-29) I festivities planned. hope you ca.n attend the game and other Again thank you for most of us. your letter. Glee holds fond m.em ories for Thomas Rowell Sisquicentennial Coordinator les OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY RELATIONS 900 STATE STREET, SALEM, OR 97301 (503) 370-6340 FAX (503) 370-6148 TEITn~BNAIL HISTORY OF WILLAMETTErS flFRESHIv1AN GLEE II Complled: By: Maroh 3, 1936 Paul G. S s Salem, Oregon Publicity D:trector From Reoords of Lestle J. WHAT IS IT? be original. Only once in the history of Glee was this broken by the entry of a song that was admittedly professional. Rules also require that each class be allowed to render its selection undisturoed and that judging be on three po:lnts, words, musie and rendition of ths ong. The latter polnt lncludes the formation in which the class marches on the stage holds while its song is sung in unison. Prizes are simple. The receiveS. the coveted banner which signifies a Glee victory. The losing class of the four, by tradition must go sw'.mm:tng in the mi stream t' borders the campus. The Theme of each year's Glee is changed. Loyalty, victory, flght, march, and serenade are the themes followed. BRIEF HISTORY Freshman Glee was originated by the olass of 1912 in its Freshman year at Willamette, whioh at first oalled its novel and new musioal oarnival ffCollege Gleen• Little did the ingenious musioal members' of that olass dream that the:5.r innovation to a university that was already replet with melodious features and events would be oarried on throughout the years asa tradition. Freshman Glee rates as the out-standing event of Willamette s o school year, surpassing even the beautiful ceremony of May Day. One of the finest things conoerning the Glee, and one of the things that brings it so olose to alumni, is the faot that the original rules concerning judging of olasses remain exaotly as they were drawn up. Just as it was at its blrth, Glee is an event l5.mited solely to Willamette's campus. t another college in the oountry RaS sim:llar musloal oompetition, as far as it is ~ow, and surely no other sohool boasts of one so replete traditions. In 1916, for the flrst time in recoraed history, credit for. the idea of Freshman Glee was g:i.ven to !tJirmniell Oakes and "Brioktf Harr on, ~. Y ti't year has found Glee lncreaslng In size, beauty, and reknown. From the historlc ohapel in old Waller RaIl, the of 1919 moved thelr Glee to the First ohuroh in 1916, because of the inoreased number enterin$. A year later,' in '17, what wa.s hallad as the "largest and Bestlt glee of all so far held, was moved to the lem armory~ even t ohuroh prov ng to small for the trad::ttional event. Several years later the WilJ.amette gymnaslum was oompleted, and the spacious home of Bearcat ,athletios has played host to the Glee ever sj.nce. S Still another example of the growth of Glee is seen in the comparison of the initial programs and those of recent years. Among the original rules laid down for the gala musical fete was one which required "That no less than e:tght members of each class must competfre 4 -'1 (' in Freshman Glee. fI Now classes 0. ~'t d. 'The origj.nal songs of Freshman Glee live long in the history of the universlty whlch claims the honor of being the oldest west of the Rock:Les.tfWillamettels the School for ,].Uneu, one of the flrst of all Glee winners, was popular for more than ten years. Perhaps the oldest of a 11 Glee songs still being sung a t the university is the 1918 Glee winner wr:i.tten by Helen Galtra and May Mickey, ttWillamette Sprlng Song. tt rtDream Onn, the 1923 winner, is one of the prettiest of all Willamette melodles. "V:J.ctory for IN.U. ", the t 31 winner, :ts known as the traditional unj.verslty victory song, and is sung after every athletic triumph. Many others are carried on 1n the musical: depths of the university. The modern trend has failed to leave its blemish on Freshman Glee, and a year seldom goes by that does not aad some new tradition to the egent. Since lts start it has been the custom of each class to hold ~_ r ,;.0 a -t'a~b~'flH'iil"~&&'Ii Likewlse for the wlnn:lng class to be awarded a pennant signj.f1.cant of the honor. In 1916 the senj.or class, for the first time tn the history of the Glee, appeared for the competitj.on :i.n their caps and gowns. Ndw, the appearance for the competition in their caps and gowns j.s the slgnal for the formal begj.nnlng of another Fresbman Gl~e. In 1933 the Silver Glee, commemorat:tng the 25th Freshman Glee, was held, mark:tng a new high in colorful Glee presentatlon. P~ofessor James T. Matthews, during his llfe time as a member of, the Willamette faculty, presented the winning banner to every wlnnlng class in the Glee with the exception of two --the fJ.rst and the 1917 one --= until h::i.s death in 1941. " GLEEn reccrds of: J,. Glee in ;i{bicn the class tIle otl:er th,ree college classes te­1s to rendel' a tIle v!ords a11d lYlusi c of been composed Gerlbers of t1.te class it. class st to its rivals, aIle L..alces all tb.e of the contest. EecB.use it includes elltire studellt source for Ot18 rrspcnse Iron:.. sttldents tlJ.cul any other school ,:rear. as t'mtire classes ari at four a.m. to nractice their fornetiona are everyda:f occurences in suerl a t rules the entire Fui , 8.1I_d so k:een is the bet1:veen classes th,at vJagers 'VJi tn. such results as; Stuo.ents in chapel; sitt on the dome of for t>ree hours in the £.dddle of the day; a bottle and to cJ.csses; a ~th4r01';er dressed iI1 a suit on tllEl sun l'dal in front of Eaton a 1iwillen i'Jearint; a dress [!laee of news­papers to school (and it is said to be a true story tr,at it that Dlsn shoes\;;ards; in trees cl1httering lil~e a barrel for c.lre of the results of in 8 prograrI.:. the VJeek after a Glee, a visitor renBrked that in all his mbt re.cei\Ted letters from at the incide11t at one of theiI~ ccn'tlention~s. seems that a ver-;y" ) a creature eles in white robes and a lantern in his , rose from the crovJd of ctators that he Vj8S t for honest t;18n) but k:ne'(;'l he could find none there. rules first tha t the 1Jorfis b.nd mus:'L c to each BOnt; be once Glee 'was this rule broken tl18 of a song that was s also that each. class be to render its selection undisturbed and tl:at on three nusic~ and I1 8110ition of' the song. latter includes the formation in which the class marches on the and holds while its song is sung in unison. ; Prizes are v!inner receives the coveted banner whi en es • a Glee class of the .Gust "go ~by in the .nill strear:J. that borders the theme of ea ~7ear' s vi at ~1l1~tte unive~81ty "'""".,"» college classes to a ~c~by ~tb.l!'S it. 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