The Morton Theatre will host the Morehouse College Glee Club as part of its 110th anniversary celebration on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
More than 100 years old, the Morehouse College Glee Club was formed at the historically black men’s university in Atlanta in 1911. The glee club’s founding director and then-head of the music department Kemper Harreld took over the choral ensemble and orchestra at the college.
The board of the Morton Theatre worked hard to book the Morehouse College Glee Club as its first-anniversary event of the new year and are “ecstatic” the “stars aligned” for the concert, said Morton Theatre facility director Lynn Green.
Green said she was excited for the event because the historic African American theater gets to collaborate with a historically black university just before Black History Month begins.
Green noted the event was timely because of the first installment of the Athens Music Walk of Fame in June and recent talks about African American contributions to the Athens music scene.
The glee club prides itself on upholding a reputation of excellence and its “impressive history” according to its website. Among its impressive alumni are Broadway performer James Stovall, Maynard Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta and Martin Luther King Jr., according to The MLK Research and Education Institute. The glee club performed at King’s funeral, as well as the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and former President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. Additionally, the group has performed in Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Russia and the Caribbean.
Green said the glee club has a “sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before” and is “one of those things you just really have to experience for yourself.”
Green said the event has been on the Morton Theatre’s “wish list” for many years and she looks forward to more “culturally significant” events at the theater in the future.