I hope this letter finds you and yours well!  As we enter into this exceptional, strange 150th year, we wanted to reach out and keep both our friends and our fellow Messengers of Harmony, Love, and Brotherhood apprised of what we can (and can’t) plan for.We will continue to look for musical opportunities whether through virtual choirs or through repurposing old recordings. I feel the need to give a huge shout out to our conductor, Frank Albinder, as he’s been hugely helpful both in trying to find and arrange opportunities and in understanding the current challenges we are facing.  Lastly, our Executive Committee will continue to meet and work towards sustaining and growing the Glee Club even in these trying times.
Our Executive Board has been meeting regularly throughout the summer and started weekly meetings in August. (First row: James Wilusz ’21, President,  Frank Albinder, Conductor, Travis Lively, General Manager. Second Row: Noah McIntire ’23, Secretary, Damian Jessup ’21, Business Manager,  Keith Yacko ’22, Publicity Manager Third Row: Nat Coombs ’21, Vice President)


First and foremost of our ongoing actions as a Club is our virtual choir performance with alumni of our Alma Mater and The Good Old Song coming to fruition. Our virtual recording combined the singing talents of our current guys and VGC alumni spanning almost 60 years of brotherhood. Our performance was featured in the virtual Rotunda Sing at the end of August. We’d like to send a shout out to all of the participants of our first virtual choir and those not listed below whose contributions to the Glee Club made this project possible.

Virtual Choir Performing the Good Ol’ Song
Secondly, we are holding weekly socially distant social meetings to maintain Club’s experience for our members and keep our bonds strong.  Lastly, should the University remain open in person, we are currently working on establishing protocols for members to meet in-person outside while still maintaining a safe distance from one another.
The Club’s first virtual meeting of the season 

Season Plans

Now that we have covered what we can do, let’s talk about what we can’t.  While there is immense uncertainty as to what this semester holds for all of us at the University, we do know that we can’t rehearse or perform in person.  This unfortunately has led to the cancelling of our Annual Dinner in November and our Christmas Concerts. We are discussing ways among our leaders of providing a virtual Christmas offering to you.

Currently, the University has committed to enforcing a maximum gathering size of fifteen persons, whether on Grounds or off.  Additionally, were we to try to hold smaller sectional rehearsals outside and socially distant, not only would the acoustics make rehearsing incredibly difficult, but we would also be running into risks with exposure time limiting any rehearsal time to under 30 minutes. It is simply a challenging, developing situation, and we will keep you updated as much as possible. It is unanimous that we all want to sing together as soon as we can ensure the health and safety of our guys and the University of Virginia and Charlottesville communities.

Ways to Support

One of our summer activities was to produce a Sesquicentennial Season branded face mask for our singers. We would also like to share our masks with you in addition to a wide array of Glee Club recordings which can be purchased on the website.

In these trying times, Glee Club depends on the continued support of our alumni and friends to support our mission.

Though our annual events such as the Annual Dinner and live Christmas Concerts have been cancelled this season we hope to use this time to build our bonds of brotherhood and to connect with you this fall with our October “snail mail” newsletter and our November phone-a-thon. Our fundraising goal for the season is our next International Tour, which has been tentatively postponed until 2022. Make sure that we can reach you during our events by updating your information with Alumni Hall or contacting our manager via email.

Your donation in honor of the Virginia Glee Club’s Sesquicentennial year will ensure that the we can continue to offer programming and performances when we are able to return to the rehearsal rooms and the stage in the coming years.

Closing Remarks

It is times of turmoil like these that prove the importance of arts organizations. While we may not be able to sing together in person this semester, we will maintain our focus on bringing people together.  Even six feet apart, we will continue to spread harmony, love, and brotherhood anywhere we are, and I thank you for continuing to support us in that endeavor.

Yours in song, albeit muffled by my mask,

Nathaniel Coombs
Vice President, Virginia Glee Club