Glee Club, It’s Probably Not What You Think
If you’ve heard of Glee Club, you probably think of a bunch of people singing and dancing while dealing with a lot of useless drama. That’s not what it is though. True, there are a group of people singing and dancing but there’s not a lot of drama at all. At least not in college. It’s just people enjoying each other’s company while participating in song and dance.
University Glee Club
Western Washington University, located near Canada overlooking Bellingham Bay, has a Glee Club that practices in one of the university’s academic buildings called Bond Hall. Bond Hall is home to the Mathematics, Philosophy, and History departments. It also has the Math Center in room 211A for students who need help with their homework or studying, or employment for people who are good at math. It doesn’t really seem the type of place to hold Glee Club practices during the evenings, but it does. It’s a place the club can practice for free without having to reserve the residence, and the members seem to like the room.
Club Routine and Members
Glee Club has sort of a routine, at the beginning of every quarter they host what people in Glee Club call Joinditions. Joinditions are like auditions except everyone is accepted into the club. Joinditions are held in one of the three rooms that Glee Club uses to practice in during the quarter. At joinditions the club officers announce what numbers people will be directing, and each individual person can choose what numbers they want to join. Some members are only in one or two, while some choose to be in twenty. The most I’ve done in a quarter so far is seven. A person’s first day in Glee Club, at joinditions, can be very overwhelming. Everyone there knows each other already and knows how the club works in general. It’s nothing to worry about though, the people in Glee Club are very welcoming. They immediately start up a conversation with you and try to make you feel like a part of the group.
For a person who’s shy before you get to know them, like myself, Glee Club is a wonderful place. The members of Glee Club are all extremely nice and welcoming. I feel accepted there. Being a first year student at Western Washington University, it is definitely something I sought for. A place that I can be myself, and more importantly, express myself. This quarter, I spend 3 evenings a week in Bond Hall at Glee Club. It’s become a good place to get away and clear my head for a while. The members of Glee Club are also extremely supportive, no matter what it’s about. Whether it be dying your hair or getting over a heartbreak, they are there to compliment or console you if you really need it. The people in Glee Club are the type of people you become lifelong friends with.
WWU Glee Club practices on the fourth floor in Bond Hall, and it is a great place to practice. The windows open to let cool air in when it gets hot and sweaty. The room also has carpet, an ugly carpet with a horrible pattern, but it helps people keep from slipping, because most people practice in their socks. If the floor had a little more padding though, it would make the ground work in the choreography much more comfortable. I’ve walked away from a practice with red and sore knees from the hard floor in the room, but it’s not something to really complain about, because that could happen practically anywhere. Also, when there is a lot of people in one number, the room can get a little crowded when people are supposed to line up in a row, but we always find a way to make it work. Sometimes by having people spread out in different areas of the room and asking them to remember where they are supposed to be. I also like the room because it compliments everyone’s voices. We sound the same in the rooms we practice in as we do in the auditorium that we will hold our Glee Club quarterly showcase in at the end of the quarter. Some people play guitars and sing along to that, but normally we just sing along to a karaoke track, and we don’t use microphones or anything else to help us sound louder. The speakers in Bond Hall play the karaoke tracks nicely, and they can be turned up as loud as needed, compared to some speakers that plays music and it comes out scratchy sounding. We practice so much in the same rooms that when we finally hold dress rehearsal in the auditorium, we don’t need a lot of practice there because we already know what we’re doing. When we’re practicing in the rooms in Bond Hall we push the desks and chairs against the walls and use the center of the room to practice. The way the desks and chairs are organized makes the rooms have the same shape as the auditorium, just a little bit smaller, so it helps making a quick adjustment to the new space.
Potential numbers for the upcoming showcase are always practiced in the same vicinity. Numbers are practiced from about 4–11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. A typical practice includes showing up a few minutes before the particular numbers’ hour time slot to practice. The first or second day of practice directors hold solo auditions and assign everyone their parts. On every other day the director will immediately start the album track on YouTube, using the only computer in the room to pull up the music. The placement of the computer in the room is great, it’s in the top corner of the room, which keeps it out of the way of everyone practicing. But once the music is pulled up, the members will sing through the song, and after we practice along to a karaoke track, also on YouTube. Once vocals have been practiced sufficiently we will learn and practice the choreography the director created, until the end of rehearsal. Usually we will continue to sing along to the karaoke track while we dance.
WWU Glee Club Showcase
Western Washington University’s Glee Club hosts a quarterly showcase where the members of the club perform in the Preforming Arts Center, lower level two, in room 16. Before the showcase the club will hold ensemble auditions where every number will be performed for the club, and the members of the club will vote on what numbers they believe should be in the showcase. After that we will hold a pre-dress rehearsal in one of the rooms in Bond Hall, then have our actual dress rehearsal in PAC 16 another day to iron out the little mistakes from switching from Bond Hall to the auditorium. Then there will be a showcase at the end of the quarter, staged a couple weeks before finals.
So if you’re into singing and dancing, or even just one or the other, come to the Glee Club Winter showcase on March 6th to check it out. Also, if you have a friend who would love to be a part of this club, you’re in luck! You don’t have to actually attend Western Washington University to join this wonderful club. If you decide you like what you see at the showcase, join Glee Club spring quarter. I look forward to seeing what numbers are chosen to be performed for the public.