John Duncan Emmet (April 26, 1857 – November 15, 1923) was one of the Virginia Glee Club's first directors (ca. 1879-1880). Emmet was there during Woodrow Wilson's first year at the University, the 1879 – 1880 season. Wilson's presence earned Emmet immortality, as the New York Times dug into Wilson’s student past to uncover a few gems about the Glee Club:
The University of Virginia Magazine contains several humorous descriptions of the reception accorded the Glee Clubbers on their serenading expeditions. A pert comment on the editorial page of one issue is typical of the many to be found in the files: "Painfully do we record the last unhappy adventure of the unhappy Glee Club. Most lamentable was their failure! Wrapped in sweet sleep the serenaded slumbered peacefully on, unconscious of the frantic efforts of the serenaders. We can only wish them better success next time."
Emmet graduated with his medical degree in 1880, and went on to serve as the chief gynecologist at St. Vincents Hospital and found the American Gynaecological and Obstretrical Journal. Emmet was the grandson of Dr. John Patten Emmet, professor of chemistry at the University, and namesake of Emmet Dorm.
This article has more context at Jarrett House North, the blog of the historian of the Virginia Glee Club Alumni and Friends Association.
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