When people hear the word “glee,” they often imagine Lea Michelle singing “Les Misérables” on an empty stage.
While Binghamton University’s Glee Club also sings and dances like the characters on the hit show, it is very different from its on-screen counterpart. In fact, none of the club’s founding members actually watch “Glee.”
Paul Barone, a sophomore double-majoring in biology and Italian, sings tenor and bass in Glee Club.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen ‘Glee,’ the show, but I can tell you that the best parts of the club are extremely spontaneous — a lot of the best memories come completely out of nowhere,” Barone said in an email. “I don’t think any scripted TV show can really capture that.”
The Glee Club was founded by four friends who wanted to sing, not competitively, but for fun. Christine Scherer, a senior majoring in human development, is co-president of the group. She began planning and organizing the club last September. By October, she managed to get Glee chartered and rehearsals started.
“We found a pianist and guitar player for the group, taught the songs (and choreographed some as well), and had our first show in December,” Scherer wrote in an email. “I still feel fortunate that we were able to pull that off — it was a ton of work in a small amount of time, but it was so worth it.”
Jesus Hernandez, a senior majoring in psychology, is vice president and a co-founder of Glee Club. He joined the group because he felt that the idea was new to Binghamton. He described the group as broke college students singing, dancing and playing instruments during their free time and felt that it was something people would want to do in their free time.
“I think the coolest part of the Glee Club is the sense of community you feel once you are in,” Hernandez wrote in an email. “You feel accepted and encouraged to break out your comfort zone and have a crazy time at rehearsals.”
Maura Lewis, a sophomore double-majoring in actuarial science and economics, was voted as the Glee Club’s musical director in January 2012 and has loved it ever since. She wanted to be involved with a lower-commitment musical group on campus that still sounded awesome and took things seriously, which is what she found with Glee Club.
“We have members from every living community, every age group, and many ethnicities and backgrounds,” Lewis wrote in an email. “It really makes us a hodgepodge of people that come together for one common love of music and theatrics.”
Scherer’s favorite part of Glee Club is the group’s success and growth.
“We have come so far from when we started and every day the club seems to be making more and more strides — not just with our music, but also with our teamwork and innovation,” Scherer said.
What sets Glee Club apart from the a cappella groups on campus is their utilization of instruments, which allows them to be more flexible with their song choices. This way, they are able to perform songs of all genres, eras and backgrounds.
“When we perform together, it feels like diving into a cool-temperature pool after a hot day at the beach,” Hernandez said.
Overall, the group presents a fun and friendly atmosphere, and its members’ main goals are just to enjoy making music together and sharing their passion. For more information about the group you can like Binghamton University Glee Club on Facebook and check out its website.