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Following the letter written to the Alumni Bulletin and reprinted in the CRIMSON on Friday morning concerning the recent withdrawal of the Glee Club from the Intercollegiate competition, Francis Rogers '91 has addressed a letter to the CRIMSON which brings to light the feelings of the New York graduates concerning the matter to an even greater degree. Mr. Rogers is a former member of the Glee Club, and has been a professional musician residing in New York for many years.
Mr. Rogers' letter follows.
"This is not the first time that the Glee Club has given cause for offense both to the New York alumni and to the other colleges concerned in the Intercollegiate Contest, but the present situation brings matters to a distinctly unpalatable climax. If the song prescribed for the contestants is unworthy of performance, as our Glee Club says it is, why has it taken our Glee Club two or three months to discover its shortcomings? A quiet resignation at the beginning of the college years might have been effected without conspicuous loss of dignity, but to withdraw in the middle of the year, giving as a reason therefore that a song acceptable to all the other clubs is not good enough for Harvard is certainly not cricket. Further, to characterize as "mush" a composition by Horatio Parker, whose ideals and achievements in music placed him in the front rank of American composers, is a bit of ill-considered and discourteously expressed criticism that will displease many musicians and be especially resented at Yale, where, as Dean of the Music School, Professor Parker won the affection and reverence of countless students.
University Has Lost Glee Laureis
"For a number of years after Harvard initiated the movement for better choral music in colleges, our Glee Club maintained its supremacy in musical performance, the many graduates, myself among them, shared with Mr. Slocum his regret that it so frankly preferred gloom to glee but in recent years its quality has deteriorated so that now several glee clubs hereabouts have vanquished it in fair combat. Certainly, a healthy sporting spirit would have led it to continue in competition at lest till it had regained its lost laurels.
"The Harvard Glee Club has for some years not been popular in intercollegiate circles. It is now quite friendless and is likely so to remain until a spirit of humility and courtesy enters the hearts of those in control of its affairs."
Woodworth Argues Two Points
G. W. Woodworth '24, acting manager of the Glee Club, issued a statement last night, refuting several points made in Mr. Rogers' letter.
"The facts of the case," he says, "have been misunderstood with reference to Harvard's withdrawal from the contest 'in the middle of the year'. The bulletin announcing the Prize Song was dated September 28th. Our protest was made on October 2d, and on October 9th we notified the Intercollegiate Musical Corporation of the vote of the Executive Committee withdrawing Harvard from the contest unless the rule regarding unanimous consent for the Prize Song was carried out. The protest and notice of proposed withdrawal took place therefore within two weeks of the opening of college, not 'two or three months'. From then on the position which we had announced was altered in no respect whatsoever.
"The term 'Sentimental Mush' was never used by any official of the Glee Club with reference to the song in question but was merely a press fabrication."
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