Penn Glee Club to open Philadelphia's largest regatta
The group will perform the National Anthem Saturday at the Head of the Schuylkill regatta
October 23, 2013, 7:43 pm · Updated October 23, 2013, 8:52 pm·
Petra Phang | DP
This Saturday, the Penn Glee Club will help open the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta — Philadelphia’s largest and most inclusive rowing race, in which Penn’s men’s lightweight rowing team will compete against other college teams — with an early-morning performance.
The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with College senior and Glee Club President Stephen DiGregoria and College juniors and Glee Club members Devin Barney and Charlie McClelland to talk about their upcoming performance.
The Daily Pennsylvanian: So could you start by telling me a bit about the Regatta?
DiGregoria: It’s a regional meet of crew teams from throughout the Northeast. We’re performing at College Day [on Saturday] where there will be thousands of college kids from throughout the region. We’ll be singing the National Anthem, which will be a really exciting and cool opportunity for us and a lot of fun to perform for such a giant audience. It’s great to be able to share the musical tradition of the University with that many people.
DP: Is this going to be the first big show for your new members?
Barney: This will be the new guys’ biggest gig since the start of the year. We’ve just got their pants in and their new Glee Club ties, so they’re excited and we’ll make sure all their hair is coiffed and everything looks good … We get used to going on tour and performing for large audiences, but we don’t normally get that on campus. So it’s nice to be right across the street from an opportunity like this.
DP: Do you want to tell us a bit about some of the other places the group typically performs?
McClelland: We had a free show at the beginning of the year for freshmen to get exposure to the group, and we performed at the Wharton welcome ceremony and lots of other department programs during NSO. We also are preparing for our own upcoming show with Penn Dance.
DP: How do you manage preparing for multiple shows at once?
DiGregoria: We’re fortunate to have a really awesome professional director who keeps sight of everything that’s on the horizon and makes sure we learn music but also come back to it often enough to keep it fresh in our memories. If we ever really need to pull out a few pieces again for a performance we can go back to rehearsal and really perfect those.
DP: How does the Regatta compare to other shows you’ve done in the past?
McClelland: I think, sort of like Devin was saying, we’ve performed for huge audiences on tours when we’ve travelled internationally or even domestically for lots of different sporting events. It’s not something that we haven’t done before, but it’s always fun to be able to do. It’s cool to have such a huge audience so close to home … and to have a chance to interact with the student athlete side of things, who maybe wouldn’t get a chance to interact with us as singers on a normal basis.
DP: Are you looking forward to seeing the races?
DiGregoria: I’m sure some people will. It’s going to be a really early morning for us. We’re calling the group at 6:40 in the morning. I think we’re singing at 8:00, but they need us there early for sound checks. We’ll see if people don’t need to go home and take naps.
McClelland: We’ve been working really hard for our upcoming show in two weeks. Homecoming weekend, woo!
DP: Anything else you’d like to add?
DiGregoria: I hope the crew team kicks butt.