The Virginia Glee Club concerts for Thomas Jefferson's 250th birthday, held Founder's Day, April, 13, 1993, were a series of three concerts in Monticello, Washington DC, and Richmond as part of the Jefferson 250 services that were the highlight of the Glee Club 1992-1993 season. The concerts included appearances on the Today show, performance excerpts broadcast on NPR, and a performance for President Bill Clinton. Repertoire for the day included Neely Bruce's Young T.J., a commissioned work that set excerpts from Jefferson's Commonplace Book to tunes inspired by early American shape note singing.
The day began at Monticello before dawn, with a performance of two Young T.J. excerpts that were broadcast during commercial cutaways on the Today Show. Today Show co-host and UVa alum Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Willard Scott were present.
Following the Today Show taping, the group took a bus to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, where they arrived moments before they were due to sing for President Clinton and a group of assembled dignitaries.
The final performance of the day was at Richmond's Jefferson Hotel.
Memories[edit | edit source]
- It was still well before dawn when the Club arrived at Monticello, and our warmup and first performance for the cameras was done in darkness with bright television lights in front of us.
- Several Club members had the privilege of meeting Today show weatherman Willard Scott in the men's restroom underneath Monticello.
- After the show taping, several members of the group met Katie Couric and gave her a VMHLB cap.
- Many members of the group joked that the mad sprint that we took from the bus to the Jefferson Memorial, necessitated by the delays in getting the bus from Charlottesville to Washington, made us good targets for Secret Service snipers.