The 1879-1880 season of the Virginia Glee Club was notable for the membership of Woodrow Wilson. The Glee Club was under the direction of John Duncan Emmet. During the season the Glee Club gave a public concert in Charlottesville.
The Virginia University Magazine tells us that the group began for the season in November 1879, and was an octet. They further comment:
The above organization was successfully formed on November 1st, and would have been properly noticed in our last issue, but we have hitherto been unable to break down the wall of retiring modesty that each individual member has erected in the way of our special reporter, who at last has been able to take advantage of the merry Christmas times and unobserved peep over and take notes. We understand that Mr. John Duncan Emmet, of New York City, makes a most thoroughly excellent leader, delighting all with the admirable, entirely satisfactory and masterly manner in which he performs his difficult part. The other members are perfectly up in their different parts, and sing with a harmonious sweetness that is peculiarly pleasing to all who are so fortunate as to hear them. We hear that on moonlight nights they group themselves in a picturesque, romance-suggesting manner around the graceful form of their handsome leader, somewhere on our beautiful Lawn, and pour out entrancing love songs of exquisite sweetness that rouse the slumbering ones for whom the serenade is meant, and a flood of light, a little half-suppressed laughter, a creaking shutter slowly opening, a light footstep among the shadows on the terrace, a bunch of ribbon-tied flowers and a dainty card fluttering to the ground on which is written in delicate feminine tracery:
The University Glee Club.
Say, fellows, don't you all wish you could warble sufficiently sweet to be a member of that fortunate U.G.C.?
A "University choir" under the direction of A. B. Guigon is mentioned in an account of the 1880 final exercises: "The singing of the University choir, under the able direction of that most excellent leader, Mr. A. B. Guigon, was peculiarly beautiful and appropriate, reflecting great credit on each of the individual members." It is unknown whether this referred to the Wilson Glee Club, or to another group.
According to a biography of Wilson, the repertoire of the Glee Club at this time included the following songs:
- "Over the Banister Leans a Face"
- "Speed Away"
- "The Fox is on the Hill"
- "Golden Slippers"
- "Hide Away"
The Virginia University Magazine December 1879 edition recorded the membership of the 1879-1880 Glee Club as:
- 1st Tenor: Wilson, Charles William Kent
- 2nd Tenor: Emmet, Blackstone
- 1st Bass: A. B. Guigon, DuBose
- 2nd Bass: Stokes, Patterson
- Leader: J. Duncan Emmet
- Eaton, William Dunseath; Harry C. Read (1924). Woodrow Wilson: His Life and Work. p. 30. http://books.google.com/books?id=TvhxxTch9_gC&lpg=PA30&vq=glee%20club&dq=%22university%20of%20virginia%22%20%22glee%20club%22&pg=PA30#v=snippet&q=glee%20club&f=false.
- White, William Allen (1924). Woodrow Wilson: The Man, His Times and His Task. p. 84. http://books.google.com/books?id=pXYqVxLyRrwC&lpg=PA84&dq=%22university%20of%20virginia%22%20%22glee%20club%22&pg=PA84#v=onepage&q=%22university%20of%20virginia%22%20%22glee%20club%22&f=false.
- "Collegiana". Virginia University Magazine XIX (3): 194-195. December 1879. http://books.google.com/books?id=QNlKAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA194&dq=Glee+club+%22university+of+Virginia%22#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- "Collegiana". Virginia University Magazine XX (1): 50. October 1880. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Virginia_Spectator/jdlKAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&pg=PA50&printsec=frontcover.
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