Forty-five years of close friendship filled more than 70 voices with laughter and familiarity at the Episcopal Divinity School’s St. John’s Chapel yesterday, where members of the 1967 Radcliffe Choral Society and Harvard Glee Club joined together for the 45th Reunion Concert of their 1967 Asian Tour.
“It was just such an important time in each of our lives,” said RCS member Margo S. Palmer ’69 of the tour, which took 90 Harvard singers to perform concerts in Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, Israel, and the former Yugoslavia. “We spent 11 weeks on the road with each other.”
The tour members reunite for a concert every five years to commemorate fellow singers who have passed away. More than 75 percent of the original group traveled from around the world to perform on Sunday.
“It’s such a tight group,” said Palmer. “We pick up where we left off five years ago.”
Sunday’s concert was conducted by Daniel Hathaway ’67, who served as assistant conductor on the Asian Tour with the late Elliot Forbes. The concert featured an array of songs from the original tour.
Hathaway opened the concert with a warning that the chorus had not had many hours to rehearse, but added with a smile that members would greet the musical selections like old friends.
Elizabeth A. Karan ’16, a student in Music 1a: Introduction to Western Music from the Middle Ages to Mozart, said she appreciated the “beautiful” harmony of more mature voices.
While time has changed the musical tone of the group, Stephen L. Griffith ’67, the president of the Asian Tour, said that the years have allowed members to fully acknowledge the profound importance of the tour for each choral member.
“We’ve begun to appreciate just how significant that time was in our lives. Our experience at Harvard was just the beginning of our friendship with each other and with music,” he said.
Griffith noted that the majority of the chorus members have incorporated music into their post-graduate life, whether they sing in a community choir or hold professional musical positions.
The remaining members of the original Asian Tour are planning another reunion—along with a charity concert series—in the Rocky Mountain region.
“We’re just going to keep going because we enjoy each other’s company and making good music,” Griffith said.