|by Steve Charles • May 1, 2012|
Donovan Bisbee ’12 set the bar pretty low in his publicity for the Glee Club Seniors’ Final Concert, although he got the lighthearted tone exactly right.
“A program of songs that will surpass your mildest expectations,” he promised. Perhaps. But the students, faculty, staff, family, and friends in Salter Hall Sunday were also treated one of the most entertaining Salter Hall concerts in recent memory.
With the assistance of accompanist Cheryl Everett and with director Richard Bowen lending encouragement from offstage, the thirteen seniors showed the love of music, camaraderie, and requisite sense of humor you’d expect from guys who have sung and traveled together across the country and halfway across the world in their four years at Wabash. And they always seem to bring a little something extra when the show is theirs—the previous senior concert 4 years ago had similar energy and surprises.
Sunday’s show opened with the tongue-in-cheek “Brotherhood of Man” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, (concluding with the Glee Club’s version of a kick line—the Rockettes have nothing to fear). Andrew Kunze ’12 put a Wabash spin on Into the Woods’ “[Little] Giants in the Sky,” and the First Tenors placed diminutive in stature but great in talent Kelvin Burzon ’12 on a riser and sang “Positoovity” from the Little Mermaid. The entire group elicited some of the biggest laughs of the afternoon with “At the Lew,” their tribute to the now defunct Lew Wallace Inn, sung to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “In My Room,” and the Glee Club seniors from the Kappa Sig house sang Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time” a cappella.
Burzon provided the biggest surprise of the concert, playing piano and singing ‘That’s Life,” a song made famous by Frank Sinatra, Bisbee and Michael Trevino ’12 were hilarious singing “Guy Love,” (from the TV show Scrubs) and the group returned to the stage in beachwear and sunglasses for their rendition of the Beach Boys’ hit “I Get Around” (with beach balls making their first appearance ever at a Glee Club concert.)
A barbershop version of “Happy Together” and a multimedia presentation featuring photographs and video of the group and their travels by Professor Emeritus John Zimmerman brought the afternoon to a moving and fitting conclusion.
"The concert the seniors do is unlike any other program the Glee Club does,” said Professor Bowen. “It’s a much more collaborative project than the highly directed concerts we typically perform. I throw some things on the table, and they bring their own ideas. For example, the “Guy Love” number came from Donovan and Michael: this is part and parcel of the particular kind of intellectual energy and humor these guys have, and that we only occasionally get a glimpse of. That’s certainly one of the pleasures of the senior concert, along with seeing the camaraderie and joy they find in singing together.”