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Online image for fall auditions, 2021

The 2021-2022 season of the Virginia Glee Club was conducted by Frank Albinder. Officers included Noah McIntire, President; Keith Yacko, vice president; Hunter Carlton, publicity manager, Jake Olsson, business manager, and George Shirkey, secretary.

The season saw the group continuing to cope with the effects of the pandemic, but included a return to in person rehearsals and performances. McIntire was quoted in an interview with Virginia Magazine:

“This semester has kind of allowed us to do what we normally do,” says Noah McIntire (Col ’23), president of the Virginia Glee Club, which is in its 151st season.

Its 150th was unlike any other. In fall 2020, the club took to Zoom, a platform not conducive to vocal harmonizing, McIntire says.

Membership dwindled. The usual roster of 40 to 50 singers fell to 16.

“It was hard to recruit guys and show them what the Glee Club was all about over Zoom,” McIntire says.

By spring 2021, with vaccines available and restrictions on outdoor gatherings loosened, the club found a rehearsal home in an unlikely space: the parking garage at John Paul Jones Arena.

The acoustics were good and, just as importantly, “Cars weren’t going through all the time,” McIntire says.

“It was crazy to hear in-person singing again.”

Rehearsals continued throughout the semester, albeit with masks, which can muffle consonants, making proper diction a challenge. Then there’s the issue of breathing. Depending on the material, inhaling quickly can result in a mouthful of mask, McIntire says.

Still, “It’s doable,” he says.

And better than the previous year. By semester’s end, the club, up to 20 members, was able to make the rounds singing carols and delivering poinsettias across Grounds, as well as perform its Christmas concerts, which had been done over Zoom in 2020.[1]

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