The semi-annual concert of the Harvard Glee Club, Pierian Sodality, and Harvard Banjo Club, was given in Sanders Theatre, last evening, and proved to be the most enjoyable concert given by those organizations for many years. The advance sale of tickets for this concert was unusually large, it being impossible to procure a seat in any part of the house two days before the date of the performance. The coming western tour of the Glee and Banjo Clubs probably accounts for the unusual interest taken in their concert, the public being curious to know how Harvard is to be represented in the west.
The opening number of the program was Mendelssohn's march. Opus 108, which was rendered by the Pierian Sodality. The Pierian has received many valuable acquisitions in the way of new players, the places of several men whose loss, it was feared, would be a serious drawback to the success of Sodality this year, being filled by new players of unusual merit The march was played with unusual fire and vigor and was received with hearty applause by a very appreciative audience.
The Glee Club opened its part of the concert with a group of college songs. The first two songs on the program were "Estudiantina," and the "Cannibalee," both being given for the first time in Sanders Theatre. The enthusiasm with which "Estudantina" was received was fully merited, it being rendered with great vigor and precision. The "Cannibalee." a new song by M. A. Taylor, leader of the Glee Club, and which was given for the first time last evening, met with an enthusiastic reception. The solo was well rendered by Mr. Howard. In the place of a quartette which was next on the programme, the "Brahms Lullaby, " which was given with so great success by the Glee Club four years ago, was substituted. The delicate rendering of this difficult piece was a revelation to even the most ardent admirers of the Club; no better singing has ever been heard in Sanders Theatre. The closing song of the group was a "Foot-ball Song," the solo being sung by Mr. Hackett, '91, accompanied by the Club. The music of this song was arranged by A. P. Hebard, leader of the Pierian, the words being written by L. McK. Garrison, L. S. It was finely rendered by Mr. Hackett and the Club, and received well merited applause. Mr. Hackett returned and bowed his acknowledgement.
The surprise of the evening was the playing of the Banjo Club, which has improved wonderfully since last year. Their first selection, the "March Past," was given with such precision and delicacy as to receive a hearty encore.
The Glee Club followed next with a group of two glees-"Courtship," by A. W. Thayer, and "The Happier Land," by Hatton. "Courtship" was sung with exquisite taste, and showed the long and patient work which doubtless had been given to it. The audience, however, did not seem to appreciate it as fully as they might have done.
Mr. Longworth, '91, followed with a violin solo, the Adagio from Viotti's twenty-second Concerto being his selection. Mr. Longworth played with the same exquisite skill and delicacy which won him such deserved appreciation last year. Mr. Longworth was recalled and played Mendelssohn's Spring song, arranged for the violin.
Moszkowski Spanish dance, arranged for orchestra from his well-known piano piece for four hands, was performed by the Pierian with a good deal of vigor, but was not so finished a piece of playing as the Mendelssohn march.
Bach's air for G string, arranged by Wilhelmj, was finely played by the string orchestra, and was by far the best work done by the Pierian during the evening.
"Over the Bannister," the music of which was written for the Glee Club by A. W. Thayer, was well sung by Mr. S. L. Swartz, accompanied by the piano. The solo was finely sung, and Mr. Swartz was well supported by the Glee Club. The "Miller's Song" and "Piper Heidseick" were well received.
The Banjo Club again distinguished itself by its rendering of "Marriage Bells," by O'Reardon, and a medley by Hall.
The next number was a solo by Mr. Hackett-"The Skipper," by Jude, being his selection. Mr. Hackett has a highly cultivated baritone voice of rare quality. His singing last evening was received with great applause, and he was obliged to respond with an encore.
The march "Funebre d'un Marionette" was well rendered by the Pierian Sodality, and showed conscientious and hard practice.
The next piece announced on the programme was Thayer's "Bugle Song." On account of the lateness of the hour, however, the Glee Club was obliged to omit this number. A string quartette, by Haydn, was also omitted for the same reason.
The concert closed with a group of college songs by the Glee Club. They were all well rendered, especially "The dude who didn't Dance," sung by Mr. Painter with a quartette accompaniment. This was the hit of the evening, being received with a tremendous burst of applause. Mr. Painter was obliged to sing two extra verses.
On the whole the concert was a great success, and the general feeling seemed to be that the Glee and Banjo clubs will be able to represent the college in the West in a manner befitting the first university of the country.