Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home, Sweet Home!

After our day of travel, the Glee Club has finally arrived back home in the USA! We had a truly magnificant time on our Tjour of Norway, Sweden, and Iceland. The new friends, exciting experiences, and wonderful music throughout this Tour will not soon be forgotten by any member of the Club. The Penn Glee Club would like to extend our deepest graditude to all who assisted us, in parts great or small, in making this tour a success--we truly could not have done it without our gracious donors, hosts, and supporters all over.

Thank you for sharing this experience with the Penn Glee Club, and we hope you'll join us again soon for the 150th Year of Glee Celebrations!

***To join our mailing list or to contact us, please send an email to penngleeclub@dolphin.upenn.edu

***Be sure to save the date! Our 150th Year Celebration Gala will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012 in the Zellerbach Theatre of the Annenberg Center on Penn's campus...we hope to see you there!

Goodbye, Iceland

***Check out the pictures of our Tour posted below!

The Glee Club spent the past 3 days in and around Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city, experiencing the unique culture and hospitality of this island country. Somehow, between relaxing in the hot springs at Blue Lagoon, visiting Reykjavik's downtown metropolitan area, sampling local cuisine, and taking a full-day tour of the most breathtaking waterfalls, tectonic plate clefts, and inactive volvanoes of Iceland, the Glee Club still had time to perform. We sang at Iceland's acoustically and aesthetically beautiful  Gudridarkirkja Church, and were even lucky enough to have a local college choir join us to sing a few songs. Afterwards, we spent some time socializing with the students and sharing our mutual love of song. Our stay in Iceland has been as magnificent as the landscape, and it has certainly provided for a memorable final stop on our 2011 Tjour!

This evening, the Glee Club will be boarding our plane back to the United States to rest and recuperate from what was a most eventful school year, year in the Glee Club, and a wonderful tour, and gear up for the celebrations planned for next year's 150th-Year Anniversary of the Glee Club in 2011-2012.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Iceland Bound!

After spending the entire day yesterday exploring the vast city of Stockholm and seeing the hisorical and cultural sites, the Glee Club is now off to Iceland! Luckily, the volcanic ash has subsided enough to allow us to fly put of Stockholm and into the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik for the last leg of our Nordic tour.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 23 - May 25: Lerum and Goteburg...and helloooo, Stockholm!

May 25: This morning, the club traveled by train from Lerum to Stockholm.  We arrived in the enchanting capital city in the afternoon, and split up in the evening to attend the Swedish Radio Symphony and Stockholm's Kungliga Opera House.  After enjoying the performances, the Glee Club explored the city, and realized just how much was left to see -- perfect, since we have another full day here to experience all that Stockholm has to offer!

May 24: In the morning, we enjoyed the city of Goteburg, Sweden, with its incredible architecture, opera house, and historic avenues.  We dropped by the famous Goteburg Botanical Gardens, and gave impromptu performances along the streets.  After this fun-filled day, we traveled back to Lerum to the house of Glee Club alumnus Sven Borei (C '64).  Sven and his family opened their home to the Club, and we performed for their friends and neighbors in the surrounding community of Koksas, who then joined us for a delicious home-cooked dinner (something the Club has certainly been missing on this tour!).  We had a blast chatting with the locals of Koksas and eating dessert, and Sven told us stories of what Glee Club was like back when he was a member.  It was great to hear how, despite how times have changed, the club has really stayed the same at heart over the years!  Our time with Sven's family was a truly enlightening experience, filled with fantastic food, and even better company.

The Glee Club performs at the home of Sven Borei.

The Glee Club poses with Sven and his family at Koksas.

Dr. C. Erik Nordgren smiles with Glee Club Alumnus Sven and his wife, Gisella.

May 23: Today, the Glee Club traveled via bus along the coast of Sweden on our way to visit the rock carvings at Tanumshede, a World Heritage Site sponsored by UNESCO.  After a tour of the Bronze Age carvings, the Club gave a performance inside the archeological museum onsite for a receptive audience of Swedish visitors.  The Club returned with a new appreciation of Swedish history and lots of great pictures of the beautiful coastline!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 20 - May 22: From Stavanger to Oslo to Lerum!

May 22:
The Glee Club this morning departed Oslo and headed to Goteburg, the second largest city in Sweden. Upon arriving, the Club headed to Lerum, a picturesque suburb of Goteburg with rolling fields and a beautiful landscape. We went to Naas, a beautiful farm and art gallery, where we performed a full-length concert for a very appreciative audience in a gorgeous barn-turned-performance-space on the Naas property. Following the successful concert, the group ate a delicious dinner at Naas, explored the art gallery, and headed back to our hotel. Tomorrow, we'll head to the Swedish Coast, and perform a concert at the Vitlycke Museum.

Our upcoming performances on tour:

Monday, May 23, 5 PM - Vitlycke Museum (World Heritage Site)
Sunday, May 29, 4 PM - Gudridarkirkja Church


May 21:
Today, the Glee Club took the opportunity to take a reprieve from formal performances to take a look around Oslo, Norway. We journeyed from Stavanger to Oslo overnight after our concert at Sola Ruinkirke, and spent the entire day experiencing the sights, sounds, and tastes of Oslo. Club members visited Oslo's Sculpture Garden, Opera House, Viking Museum, Royal Palace, a street fair, and many other cultural and historical landmarks in Oslo.

After some sightseeing, the Glee Club gathered for some impromptu singing on the street right in the heart of Oslo. A large audience quickly developed to listen and enjoyed hearing the songs we shared with them. After the performance, the Club went to a dinner celebration for the birthday of our Director, Dr. C. Erik Nordgren, and then headed back to our hotel to prepare for another day of traveling.

Some Clubbers pose outside the Oslo Royal Palace.

Singing on the main thoroughfare in the center of Oslo for a very appreciative audience of pedestrians.

May 20:
As a rest day from the hike up Preacher's Pulpit, the Glee Club took a bus tour of Stavanger this morning. Our enthusiastic tour guide shared the history of the city and Norway with us, and showed us important landmarks in and around the city. Our exciting final stop was a look inside the beautiful and historical Stavanger Cathedral, a 12th-century cathedral located in the heart of the city's center. Before we left the cathedral, we sang Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria" to commerate our visit and as a special treat for the other people touring the cathedral:

In the evening, the Glee Club held a full-length concert in Sola Ruinkirke, the 12th-century cathedral in Sola, right near our hotel and the coast of the North Sea. The historical venue, with its breathtaking view of the ocean and beautiful acoustics, created a very unique performance space and experience for both the audience and for the Glee Club. These two performances in such historic venues really made an impact amongst the group and gave us some perspective as to the wonderful opportunities we are lucky enough to have while traveling in Scandinavia. These are definitely experiences we won't soon forget.

The Glee Club sings at the Stavanger Cathedral in the heart of the city.

The Glee Club smiles for a picture with our wonderful tour guide, Theresa.

Outside the Sola Ruinkirke in full White Ties and Tails regalia.

Our hosts, Siv and Leigh, are thanked for their generous hospitality at the conclusion of our concert at the Sola Ruinkirke.

Glee Club Alumnus Leigh joins us for a final song in the Sola Ruinkirke.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tjour of the Fjord!

After the Clubbers of the Senior Class arrived this morning fresh from their graduation activities, the Glee Club set its sights high. The Club hiked to the top of Preikestolen ("Preacher's Pulpit"), a cliff extending from the top of a mountain almost 2,000 feet above sea level, flanking a gorgeous fjord in southwest Norway. After a 2.4 mile hike that lasted about 2 hours, the Club reached the top of the mountain and sang on the cliff for other hikers at the peak. Following the impromptu performance, the Club had a photoshoot in our White Ties & Tails while taking in the breathtaking sight of the fjord. (Check back for some great pictures to be posted soon!)

Tomorrow, the Club will take a sightseeing tour of the area surrounding Stavanger and then perform a full-length concert at 7:00 PM tomorrow at Sola Ruinkirke, a historic church located in Stavanger.

Friday night's performance will conclude our wonderful stay in Stavanger. The Club will then head to Oslo, Norway to continue what is shaping up to be quite the eventful Tjour!


Our upcoming performances on tour:
Friday, May 20, 7 PM - Sola Ruinkirke
Sunday, May 22, 6 PM - Nääs
Monday, May 23, 5 PM - Vitlycke Museum (World Heritage Site)
Sunday, May 29, 4 PM - Gudridarkirkja Church

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stavanger, Day 2

Today, the Glee Club performed at the International School of Stavanger for students and members of the community. The day began in the morning with an abridged concert for elementary schoolers, followed by two performances for the middle schoolers and high schoolers during their lunch periods, and concluded with a full-length concert in the school's auditorium for a large and enthusiastic audience of students, parents, and community members of the surrounding area of Madla, Stavanger. After the show, the Glee Club discussed life in college and in the USA with students from all over the world studying at the International School, and the Club was even asked to sign autographs -- audiences don't get much better than that! Check out some pictures from the day's performances below!

Tomorrow, the Glee Club will take a break from performing to go mountain hiking to reach Preacher's Pulpit, a 25 meter x 25 meter cliff overlooking a fjord about 2000 feet above sea level. Stay tuned for some great pictures!

The Glee Club performs at the International School of Stavanger
(Director Dr. C. Erik Nordgren at right, and accompanists Yunica Jiang and Ned Cunningham, left)

The elementary school students at the International School of Stavanger join us for the singing of the anthem of the University of Pennsylvania, "The Red and the Blue."

The Club breaks it down with Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me," an audience favorite!

Business Manager Robert Croll performs a toe-touch during Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" to cheers from the audience.
The Club poses at the end of the tap finale, "On a Wonderful Day Like Today," ending the concert with high energy.