VMI Glee Club Performs in New York and New Jersey
The VMI Glee Club traveled north during the weekend of Feb. 2-5 to perform a series of concerts in New Jersey and New York City.
The cadets left by bus after class on Thursday, Feb. 2, and drove four hours north to spend their first night at the Fort Indiantown Gap Pennsylvania Army National Guard Training Center. On Friday afternoon, the club performed a concert at Dover High School in Dover, N.J., to honor the memory of Sgt. Ryan Doltz ’00, a graduate of the school. Doltz, a cadet musician while at the Institute, was killed in action in Iraq on June 4, 2004. The performance was a complete success, ending with a standing ovation from the over 1,000 students and faculty in attendance.
Two hours later found the cadets singing for a crowd of veterans at the veterans hospital in Lyons, N.J. The cadets sang in the physical therapy ward, and several New Jersey alumni were on hand, including Ken Iverson ’54, Greg Robertson ’55, Larry Rose ’65, and Rick Woolffe ’78. The cadets were billeted the remainder of the trip at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, N.Y.
On Saturday, the club performed a concert at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum onboard USS Intrepid off the 48th Street pier. The performance, which took place inside the hanger deck level, was open to the public.
That evening the cadets were singing once more for alumni and the patrons of O’Lunney’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Times Square on 45th Street. Cmdr. Liam Murphy ’65 was instrumental in arranging the concert and also arranging for a wonderful Irish meal donated to the hungry cadets by the establishment’s owner, Hugh O’Lunney, and his daughter, Maureen. Several New York alumni and their families were in attendance, including Greg Robertson ’55, John Lane ’68, John Gibney ’81, Jeff Spellman ’85, and Bob Munno’81. That evening a large contingent of the cadets took advantage of Times Square and took in shows, shopping, and the sights of the “Big Apple,” many for the first time.
On Sunday morning the Glee Club performed at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue during the 9 o’clock service.
“I've heard all nice things from our crowd and I'm so glad you were able to join us on Sunday,” said Dr. Paolo Bordignon, the church’s associate director of music. “The cadets sounded wonderful, and you are welcome back anytime you come to the city.”
The cadets returned to VMI that evening after a seven-hour bus ride just in time to catch the Super Bowl. Col. John Brodie, VMI band director, said he was very pleased with the performance and esprit of the club: “Performing so many concerts in such a compacted time, the cadets were excellent musical ambassadors for the Institute.”
The club has three more scheduled performances in Lexington and Lynchburg this semester.