Glee Club takes its talent abroad

The club's world adventure was equal parts work and play

· July 2, 2014, 5:43 pm   ·  Updated July 3, 2014, 11:14 am

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The Penn Glee Club took their talents international as they performed around the world from Qatar to Tanzania to Dubai


Members of the Penn Glee Club may have lost their voices during their two-week international tour in late May — but not solely from singing. 

While abroad, the group embarked on a plethora of shout-worthy adventures.  They even kept a daily record of their world travels on an online blog, appropriately titled, “A Whole New World.”

“The great thing about the Glee Club is the opportunity to go to places you’ve never dreamed of going to,” Publicity Manager and College junior Daniel Carsello said. “I had never even been out of the country before this tour, and to go on a trip to these places was unimaginable.”

Their tour took them from Qatar — a Middle Eastern country — to Tanzania, before ending the trip in Dubai. At each destination, the Glee Club members gave performances for up to of 200 people per venue. But the most unique parts of the trip took place off the stage.

In Qatar, the club spent time at Qatar Academy, where they listened to the Academy’s Choir before taking the stage themselves and performing a boy-band medley and “I Can See Clearly,” among other songs.

The club also went ‘dune bashing,’ an activity in which the group piled into SUVs — with experienced drivers, of course — and let the cars glide down the sand dunes in the Qatari desert.

After their show in Moshi, Tanzania, the club members witnessed scenic Mount Kilimanjaro at sunset — only a few days later, they climbed the mountain and interacted with local children to encourage them to cultivate an interest in music.

Led by their tour guide, the Glee Club also embarked on a walking excursion throughout the Tanzanian town. They noted that one of the most unique facets of this walk was the street vendors, who approached and followed the group rather than remaining stationary, attempting to sell everything from soccer jerseys to local artwork.

The owner of the Atlantis The Palm Dubai invited the group as guests — at the attraction, they enjoyed food and a water park featuring a water slide that runs through a shark tank. Their Dubai ventures ultimately let to a private performance at Dubai's Capital Club and lunch at the Consulate of the United States.

Even while taking in all the culture, the Glee Club found that their influence had stretched across borders as well. While performing their piece, “Country Roads,” at the American School of Dubai, the men’s choir joined in after learning Penn Glee Club’s arrangement as a surprise.

The tour brought the group together in more ways than they imagined.

“I don’t think anyone could have asked for a better way to spend two weeks. That time traveling across the world with our closest friends won’t soon be forgotten. I can’t thank our Business Manager [Engineering and Wharton senior Joseph Ooi] enough for planning the once-in-a-lifetime tour,” Club President and College senior Charlie McClelland said.

Catch the Penn Glee Club next at their free show on campus on August 27.

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