The members of the Glee, Banjo and Mandolin Clubs returned to Cambridge in time for registration yesterday morning after their annual Christmas trip. The men were for the most part in the best of health and spirits and spoke very enthusiastically of the success of the trip and of the reception that had been given to them in all of the cities visited. The itinerary included three cities, Louisville, Indianapolis and Kansas City, where the Harvard clubs had not given concerts before, and others where concerts had not been given for some years. Although several other college glee clubs went to the same cities this year there was hardly a concert in which there was any apparent falling off in the interest shown; and in nearly every place, especially in Indianapolis and Kansas City, old Harvard men said that the coming of the musical clubs had done a great deal to awaken interest in Harvard and to strengthen the loyalty of the resident graduates. The concert in Indianapolis was the occasion of a meeting of Harvard men from all over the state of Indiana to effect a closer organization.
The first concert of the trip was given in Worcester, Friday, Dec. 21, in Association Hall. After the concert a reception and dance were given in honor of the clubs by Mrs. R. C. Taylor. The clubs left Worcester the same night and reached Baltimore Saturday afternoon. The concert in the evening was one of the best the clubs have ever given and the large audience that nearly filled Lehmann's Hall was very enthusiastic. The concert was followed by a reception given by the Harvard Club of Maryland at the Hotel Rennert. Sunday morning some of the men went down to Washington and had time to call on their friends or see a little of the city before joining the rest of the party who came through later on their way to Cincinnati. In that city the clubs arrived early Monday morning and went to the Gibson House. The privileges of the University Club were given to the men during their stay. The Queen City Club also gave a supper after the concert.
Christmas morning the clubs left Cincinnati for Louisville, where they stopped at the Galt House. Very pleasant receptions were given to the clubs in the afternoon by Mrs. Augustus E. Willson and Mrs. Ewing U. Eaches, and after a successful concert in the evening a dance was given in the hall of the Louisville Athletic Club. The men all enjoyed their stay in Louisville very much and were reluctant to go away.
The next concert was given the following night in Indianapolis. The Harvard men who lived there gave a very cordial greeting. They were not strong in numbers but what they lacked in that respect they more than made up for in enthusiasm. The hall where the concert was given was very elaborately decorated with crimson bunting and Harvard flags, and the audience was unusually appreciative. A supper was given to the clubs after the concert, by the resident graduates, at the Columbia Club. The clubs had to leave the same evening by special sleeping car for St. Louis, where they arrived the next morning and were driven to The Southern. A tea was given in the afternoon in honor of the clubs by Mrs. Dexter Tiffany. After the concert, which was given in the Auditorium in the evening, the men were given a supper by the Harvard members of the University Club. Some of the men were also invited to a ball given at the Imperial Club.
An all day journey, Friday, brought the clubs to Kansas City, which was the furthest west that they had ever been. At the Coates House, the men found cards inviting them to make use of the privileges of the Kansas City Club. A dance was given in honor of the clubs in the evening at the Coates House. Saturday afternoon Mrs. Charles F. Morse received the members at her home in Hyde Park. The concert in the evening was very successful and many who were present expressed the wish that the clubs would come frequently in the future.
Sunday night the clubs took the sleeping car for Chicago, where they arrived Monday morning. The concert that night was in Milwaukee. A tea was given in the afternoon by Mrs. Alfred L. Cary. The clubs stayed over night at the Plankinton House and in the morning returned to Chicago, where they stayed at the Victoria.
The Chicago concert was the crowning success of the whole trip. An audience of over two thousand completely filled the Central Music Hall and gave the clubs as hearty a welcome as they have ever received. Every number was encored and Wilder made even a greater hit than he had ever done before. The audience, in the last number, were apparently determined not to let him go until he had exhausted his repertoire and it was not until he had been called back nine or ten times that the applause died down so that the Glee Club could start "Fair Harvard." Wilder said good-bye to the Glee Club at the close of the concert and was given a hearty three-times-three. He started on his way home to Honolulu immediately after the concert.
A very pleasant feature of the trip was the meeting of the Harvard and Yale musical clubs in the station at Kansas City. The Yale clubs came in just as the Harvard clubs were leaving. The Harvard clubs first gave several hearty cheers for the Yale men and the latter responded with equal spirit. The Yale clubs showed their appreciation of the courtesy by sending this telegram, which reached the Harvard clubs during the Chicago concert: "To the Harvard Musical Clubs, - Happy New Year from Yale."
The clubs came home by way of the Michigan Central Railroad, and were on the way from Tuesday night till Thursday morning. The travelling schedule of the whole trip was arranged by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, and Mr. Charles A. Cooke of the Raymond Excursion Company was in immediate charge of the party.