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The Song Contest



To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

To the letter of Thomas Slocum and that of Francis Rogers relative to the withdrawal of the Harvard Glee Club from the Intercollegiate Glee Club Contest I add my sincere approval. Properly done and at the proper time, without pretext, it is wholly within the right of each of the component clubs to withdraw from the organization. But to wait till the contest is at hand before signifying such intention can be productive only of disarrangement and of justly unfavorable criticism. The reason given, that the composition selected for uniform competition is "of musical inferiority and real musical worth", strikes my ears strangely. A close acquaintance of many years with Horatio Parker, my friend and associate, the composer of the song selected, leads me to doubt if any "inferior" music ever came from his pen. Music of varying degrees of varying degress of delicacy, yes: but "trivial" music never.

Whatever warrant for criticism I may possess has come from a lifetime of professional public singing and teaching of singing.

The purpose of our Glee Club to raise the standard of College Singing was a joy to me so long as it was kept within bounds. The Harvard Glee Club deserve great praise as the first to conceive and carry out this purpose, thereby becoming the inspiration and pattern for other Clubs. For many years Harvard in competitions won the first prize and deserved it.

And then features of interpretation and technical performance, in themselves excellent and unusual in such organizations, were stresssed, developed, over-refined till they have become fads, inevitably producing monotony, unvirility, checking spontaneity. The prize has several times been awarded else-where than to Harvard, and we could find no justification for challenging the awards of the judges.

The University Glee Club of New York City was founded with music as the bond to promote good-fellowship among the resident Alumni of many Universities and Colleges, and in it Harvard men have always been devotedly active and loyal members, having the purpose as well as their own enjoyment at heart. In the Harvard Club of New York City we have taken pleasure in furthering friendly relations between ourselves and other Colleges, thinking this a most beneficent service to our own beloved College.

And now, for the second time from this same source, there comes an untoward circumstance such as this to mortify us, and, on evidence furnished by Harvard men, to force other Collegians to wonder whether Harvard men are truly good fellows after all!

Shall we ignore it? Impossible. Gardner Lamson '77.

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