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Colby Glee Club: A 1951 Choral Tribute to Alma Mater

On Feb. 17 and 25, 1951, the Colby Glee Club performed in Lorimer Chapel for an NBC radio series “Songs from New England Colleges” sponsored by Monsanto. This surviving recording features a six-minute piece that combines Colby’s alma mater with a fight-song motif and other choral arrangements. Emeritus Professor of Music Peter Ré recalls conducting the performance during his first year on the faculty. Ré arranged the piece, which incorporates a soaring melody by the late Professor Emeritus Ermanno Comparetti and text by the late Professor of English Alice Comparetti. Glee Club singers are accompanied by dramatic piano arpeggios and blaring brass fanfares. The Feb. 17 performance “was highly praised by our sponsor as well as our radio announcers and the attending audience,” Ré recalled. Enthusiasm ran so high that tickets to the encore performance a week later had to be rationed, according to an Echo article announcing the event.

Three Presidents Reminisce

On June 22, 2010, three Colby presidents gathered to talk about their experiences leading the College. Emeritus President Robert E.L. Strider II (1960-1979), Emeritus President William R. Cotter (1979-2000), and President William D. Adams (2000-) were interviewed by College Historian and Emeritus Dean of the College Earl H. Smith.

The three men share gratifying moments from their presidencies.

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