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ASU Glee Club to perform Friday

Article Published: Nov. 11, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011


It's not just a television show on FOX.

Just ask Appalachian State University's Glee Club conductor and guest lecturer Tony McNeill.
"The Glee Club has been around Appalachian for a long, long time," he said.

While it's his first semester conducting the group, he was student conductor in the early '90s.
"Being back is like a homecoming of sorts for me," he said.

And, while interest is peaking thanks to the televised voices of Glee's Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, there are a few key differences between TV and reality.

"This type of glee club is a little more formal and a little more classical-oriented than what you see on TV," McNeill said. "The majority of the music we do is choral music rooted in the classical tradition."
Friday, you'll have a chance to experience the magic for yourself as the ASU Glee Club presents a concert.

Think lighter numbers, songs like "When I Fall in Love" (made popular in Sleepless in Seattle).
The 32-member club's music spans from early Beethoven to contemporary.

"It's just going to be a wonderful opportunity for people to hear some good quality music sung by men," McNeill said.

As an undergrad, McNeill went to a glee club concert and was hooked.

"I heard them sing Randall Thompson's 'Testament of Freedom,' and it brought me to tears," he said. "I knew after I heard that powerful piece of music that I had to be part of the glee club."

A smaller group within the glee club, entitled "What's Yer Pleasure," specializes in music from the barbershop tradition a cappella, and will also perform Friday.

"I've been around choral music all of my life, but it's very rare that you hear a men's group of this caliber," McNeill said.

The show happens at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center's Rosen Concert Hall at Appalachian State University. Admission is free. The ASU Glee Club will be accompanied by pianist Lisa Runner and horn player Rachel Watson.

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