Then and Now: Glee Club/Show Choir

by Lauren Putbrese ’16

Show ChoirShow choir is the newest craze at McKendree University. In the inaugural year for the show choir program, the spring performance “Marilyn” had two sold-out shows at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts. However, the show choir program is not the first of its kind at McKendree.

Pauline Harper organized a men’s and women’s Glee Club in 1924. These groups performed all over southern Illinois and typically joined together for a final performance in the spring semester.

Photo of 1938 Show ChoirThe purpose of the Women’s Glee Club according to the 1938 yearbook was, “To stimulate and develop musical ability among those college women who are interested in music.”

Current director Adam Pulver brought tremendous show choir experience when he joined the McKendree staff. From judging the Show Choir Nationals, to hosting a regional competition at McKendree during April, Adam has quickly helped McKendree's show choir program build an excellent reputation.

Over 50 students are involved with the program, many of whom receive scholarships for their participation. When asked about his vision for the future of the show choir Adam said, “I envision a well-respected and highly admired program. I look forward to the day when students from all over the world seek out this program as a means to better themselves as a performer, young adult and leader. I envision creating the top collegiate show choir.”