UB Glee sets a new tone

Club becoming more confident with new e-board


It’s easy to buy into the glee club stereotype perpetuated by FOX network’s “Glee” or the memorable “Pitch Perfect” franchise.

But UB Glee is different.

Starting only eight years ago, the UB Glee Club is in a transitionary stage. Last year, with a brand new executive board, the club made many important decisions regarding events, trips and overall policy. The club focused on making its event schedule more manageable. While UB Glee traditionally held two events per semester, the club has decided to cut down to one per year, to take place before finals week, according to Events Coordinator Nabil Faisullah.

“We hold our event a couple weeks before finals week before things it gets hectic,” Faisullah, a sophomore legal studies major, said. “We also usually collaborate with other clubs for our events.”

Holding its event toward the end of the semester gives the club more time to practice various songs – not only as a whole group, but also smaller groups, duets and solos. This allows the club to showcase the skills and talents of both the whole group and individual members.

“What we try to emphasize in our performances has to do a lot with the group aspect, so learning to perform and learning to work together as a group,” said Raina Duggirala, a senior psychology major and president of UB Glee.

But the new e-board is also making it a priority to highlight the distinct individual talents of their club members, so club performances can have up to 11 solo performances strewn between group performances.

“A lot of the people that perform are very diverse in their voices, in their talents, so we like to give them opportunities to perform their own solos in the show,” Duggirala said. “That’s a big part of this club that you can’t find in the other music clubs or acapella groups on campus.”

This year UB Glee has 24 members. This number is fewer than last year’s group, but the club is currently holding auditions for new members.

“During auditions we look at tone, their pitch, rhythm, and we look at their energy,” said Julienne Zhou, vice president of UB Glee and a sophomore biology major.

Using this criteria, the club put together a group of vocalists ranging from sopranos to tenors to basses. The club works to harmonize vocally and improve their onstage performance.

“We have music and dance coordinators and we like to take ideas from our stronger members on how we can make the music and dance routines better,” Raina said.

Members of UB Glee will also attend an invitational event at SUNY New Paltz, to be attended by glee clubs from across the state.

“It’s a very artistic school so they also invite the other music programs in the school as well and we all put on a show,” Duggirala said. “It’s usually a good time, so we usually do it every semester, but we won’t be going this semester because with a six hour drive it doesn’t make sense if we won’t be prepared.”

The aim of SUNY New Paltz’s invitational is to both showcase the talents of each individual club and its members as well as demonstrate inter-organization support for each other, as the glee club community is an interconnected one.

UB Glee is currently focused on solidifying both its internal operations and its network on campus, which it utilizes for its own events and to open up opportunities to perform at other organizations’ events.

UB Glee has not yet solidified a date for its upcoming event and is still looking to add to its roster with an upcoming audition Thursday.

Kenneth Kashif Thomas is the arts desk editor and can be reached at kenneth.thomas@ubspectrum.com. Follow him at @KenUBSpec.