The Thomas A. Sokol Commissioning Endowment
Beginning in 2005, the Glee Club founded an endowment in honor of Director Emeritus Thomas A. Sokol, who led the Glee Club from 1957-1995. Each year, this endowment funds the creation of a new work for men's voices from a prominent composer.
Augusta Read Thomas: The Rewaking (2005)
Inaugurating it's endowment with this work, which was premiered at the 2005 Homecoming Concert, the Club asked Augusta Read Thomas, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, the former Composer in Residence of the Chicago Symphony, now a faculty member at the University of Chicago to set this William Carlos Williams text. The Rewaking can be heard on the Glee Club's 2011 release, Last Letter Home and was revived for the 2011 Midwest Tour, where Augusta Read Thomas gave a pre-concert talk at the Club's performance in Chicago.
Julian Wachner: Four Scenes from the Rubayyat (2006)
Premiered at Homecoming 2006, this setting of quatrains from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam features a virtuosic Piano accompaniment. It was also performed on the Club's 2007 tour of the Southeast US. Julian Wachner is the director of the Washington Chorus, and a composer who sits on the faculty of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Chen Yi and Steven Stucky: Two Chinese Folk Songs (2007)
Written for the Glee Club's 2008 tour to China with the Cornell University Chorus, this work married east and west, with Contemporary Chinese composer Chen Yi arranging The Flowing Steam for the Chorus and Pulitizer Prize winning Cornell faculty member Steven Stucky arranging The Sun is Rising with Our Joy for Glee Club. The songs then come together at the end with male and female voices singing together.
Bernard Rands: Trinity (2008)
This work was premiered at the 2008 Homecoming Concert and is a setting of fragments from Walt Whitman's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, an elegy for Abraham Lincoln, in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Bernard Rands is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the former composer in residence for the Philadelphia Orchestra. This work was also performed on the Glee Club's 2009 tour of the Deep South.
Daniel Kellogg: Winter Lullaby, Innisfree (2009)
Premiered at Homecoming 2009, the Club commissioned two works by Daniel Kellogg, a faculty member at the University of Colorado at Boulder. One is a setting of the Christina Rossetti poem, A Dirge and the other, a setting of William Butler Yeats' The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Both pieces can be heard on the Glee Club's 2011 release, Last Letter Home and were also performed on the 2010 Northeast Tour, where they received glowing reviews in The Washington Post, following the Glee Club's triumphant Kennedy Center appearance.
David Lefkowitz: Four Rubaiyat (2010)
David Conte: Crossing the Bar (2010)
For the 2011 tour of California, the Glee Club commissioned two works by Alums of the Glee Club who are now distinguished composers who live and work in California. David Lefkowitz '86'87, now in the faculty at UCLA, set four quatrains from Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat in a challenging three-movement work. David Conte DMA'83, now a professor at the San Francisco Conservatory, set the Alfred, Lord Tennyson text "Crossing the Bar" in honor of Cornell Chorus Alum, Heather Walters '81. Both Conte and Lefkowitz, along with Byron Adams DMA'84 and Joseph Gregorio '01, two other Cornell-California Composers, participated in pre-concert talks throughout the tour.
Shulamit Ran: Sonnet 73 (2011)
For the Midwestern Tour of 2012, the Glee Club commissioned Shulamit Ran, a professor at The University of Chicago, to write a setting of Shakespeare's 73rd sonnet. This work was premiered in Chicago on January 7th, where Shulamit presented a pre-concert talk with her colleague, Augusta Read Thomas.
Alan Fletcher: I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing (2012)
The Glee Club commissioned Alan Fletcher, President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival and School, to set this Walt Whitman text to music for a premiere at our 2012 Homecoming Concert. The Glee Club will perform this piece on our upcoming tour of the Southeast.