Uploaded on Sep 27, 2008
Soloist Tim Grodrian '67 created new lyrics for Gene Chandler's 1961 classic "Duke of Earl" to spoof Rector Hall, a dorm for DePauw University freshman women that's now Rector Village -- with several buildings including a spiritual center. Grodrian traveled to China to perform solo classical music in 2006 at the invitation of the U.S. State Department and Chinese leadership.
During student days the solo was performed by the late Jack McWethy '69, who spoofed the university administration and later became national security correspondent for ABC-TV News. Joe Hughes '66 and Ed Williams '69 also were remembered during the 6-14-08 reunion concert on campus at Meharry Hall, where The Men sang as students.
"Duke" is followed here by In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, composed by David Mann (1916-2002) with lyrics by Bob Hilliard (1918-1971). Made famous by Frank Sinatra when he used the title for a popular 1955 album which also featured Mood Indigo, another Men of Note favorite in this video collection. Later performances of In the Wee Small Hours came from Carly Simon and John Mayer.
Organized in 1962-63 by Dorn Younger '64, The Men of Note became best known for close harmony original arrangements by Younger and his successor, Frank Jacobs '66, of standards from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Other Younger arrangements for the Men of Note include Little Girl Blue, Mood Indigo, Sermonette and How High the Moon. Later Jacobs arranged Autumn Leaves, Every Time I Feel the Spirit and Tenderly, among others.
In this sequence, Jacobs is conducting, with Younger in the group in the top row, far left. Returning singers represent graduating classes from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Although many songs are performed a cappella, the Men added string bass, drums and piano accompaniment for others. This concert was no exception as the alumni singers jazzed up four songs with an instrumental trio. As students they added marimba for some tunes & performed original arrangements of music by the Beatles and the Association, adding electric bass and guitar. String instruments supplemented another concert. The student-run group produced a professionally engineered album in 1966, with several selections aired on WJR in Detroit. They also performed at Expo 67, the World's Fair in Montreal.
2009 COLLABORATION UPDATE:
Dorn Younger and Frank Jacobs worked together succesfully as students during the Men of Note's early days, but they were not close friends. That changed during the reunion concert of 2004, after the two men saw each other for the first time in 40 years. A new friendship resulted in performances of new choral music written by Younger for Jacobs and his wife, Arlene Harlow '66, sung by children's choruses in cathedrals across Europe.
More recently Jacobs commissioned Younger to write a 30-35 minute musical tribute for chorus and orchestra to commemorate, in 2009, the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. While composing Younger said he was "trying musically not to take sides" in remembering those who died on both sides during the Civil War. Lyics for the final of five symphonic songs, "Song of Vision," come from the speeches and writings of Lincoln.
The WORLD PREMIERE of "Lincoln: A Symphonic Tribute" was performed October 24, 2009 by the Summit Choral Society in Akron, OH, with over 300 performers on stage. See excerpt here:
or contact http://www.summitchoralsociety.org/
(Video by Media and User Services Dept., DePauw University)
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