Virginia Glee Club Wiki
Virginia Glee Club Wiki

Glee Club, 1989 Corks and Curls

The 1988-1989 season of the Virginia Glee Club was the final season of Donald Loach as director and the first for Michael Butterman, and marked the end of the Glee Club's status as a curricular organization affiliated with the McIntire Department of Music and the beginning of its tenure as a University Contracted Independent Organization (CIO). Officers included Bruce Kothmann, president; Laurence G. Mueller, vice president; Steven Billcheck, business manager; and Nicholas Hoffman, secretary.

Separation from the Music Department[]

In the fall of 1988, an ad-hoc committee for restructuring the University's choral curriculum and choral groups proposed combining the Glee Club and the Virginia Women's Chorus into a single coeducational chorus under the Glee Club's name, and to reduce the University Singers in size to a chamber ensemble.[1] The stated reasons for the merger were to "improve (the Music Department's) educational mission ... (and allow) capable performers to come to grips with some of the significant works from the vastly superior repertory for mixed voices" while allowing the Music Department to eliminate one choral conductor position.[2] However, the student leadership of the affected groups was not consulted in the decision; instead, it was presented in a report on December 7, 1988 as a final proposal. Later, Donald Loach noted, "We felt we were dealing with a curricular thing...(concerning the lack of student input in the decision) we might have thought about it a little more."[3]

Response to the proposal was strong opposition from both the student groups affected and a significant portion of the student body and alumni. The Glee Club and Women's Chorus formed an organization called ECHO (Existing Choral Organizations) and mounted an on-grounds campaign asking the Music Department to reverse its decision.[2] The Student Council passed a resolution urging the music department to rescind the decision, noting that the groups, which were "almost entirely student run," were not consulted in the decision.[4]

After two meetings between the Music Department and the students, a compromise was reached that allowed the Glee Club and Women's Chorus to exist as CIOs unaffiliated with the Music Department; University Singers was retained as a large mixed-voice ensemble, while a smaller mixed-voice chamber ensemble, Coro Virginia, was formed. As part of the compromise, the Glee Club gained control of its alumni endowment, but lost priority access to university facilities.[5] The Virginia Women's Chorus, at the time only 15 years old and lacking a strong alumni base, disbanded for lack of funds, giving its final concert (until its 1995 reconstitution) in April 1989.[6]





Tenor I: Ruben Basantes, Patrick Bell, Cleve Bosher, Ellis Butler, Philip Byers, Gregory Demme, David Fouché, Nicholas Hoffman, Todd Stone, Gregory Swaluk, Jonathan Wiening

Tenor II: Steve Billcheck, Martin Boo, Dean Goodwin, Charles Hoggatt, Bruce Kothmann, Michael McCullough, Larry Mueller, William Nichols, Poulson Reed, David Ryan, Brogan Sullivan, Stephen Sweeney, Aven Tsai

Baritones: Christopher Corr, Sean Drumheller, Andrew Erickson, Timothy Hefferon, Michael Hirsch, David Hughes, Sean Kelbley, Michael Laurenson, Parker Meyers, Bryce Taylor, Brian Wagstaff, Daniel Weigand

Basses: Stephen Bailey, David Belmonte, Chi young Chung, Hywyn Churchill, Thomas Cook, David Foster, Bradley Marino, Anthony Shin, Halstead Sullivan, Thomas Stluka, Spencer Vining, Christopher Walker, Andrew Youkilis



Previous season Decade Next season
1987-1988 Glee Club of the 1980s 1989-1990