Remembering Andrew Krafft, class of 1986
1963 - 2024 Legacy.com 

1964 European tour

Posted: April 26, 2024.
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Beth Greening writes:

“Good Morning, My father [David D. Galley] was a member of the Purdue Glee Club 1963-1964. I was wondering if you could tell me what year they did their European Tour and if there are any recordings of that? Also, he mentioned having dined at The Five Flies restaurant in Amsterdam, would you have the date that the Glee Club was there? My father passed away in 1993 and I wasn’t able to get more information from him.

Thank you,

This tour was during the summer of 1964 and the third European tour by the Glee Club at that point. At least nine performances were held in Ireland, England, Wales, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany.

“ONE OF THE highlights of the entire tour will be their stop at Bückeburg, Germany, home of the famous Obernkirchen Children’s Choir. Here they will sing two concerts under the sponsorship of the Children’s Choir, and during this three-day stop over, they will be guests in the homes of the children.”

There is a recording from this tour (Bückeburg Garden Party) which features the children’s choir joining the Glee Club.

“We will spend three days in Bückeburg…with these children and… meet their families personally. We’ve met the children many times, also correspond regularly with Edith Möller their conductress, and they’re wonderful kids. And the first time we ever met them, they taught my boys a wonderful song then had not been known. But since that time has become a bestseller in our country, and I think probably yours…”

Al Stewart and the Glee Club were instrumental in making the children’s choir known in America, and the song “The Happy Wanderer” in particular. The next time you hum that tune, thank Al Stewart!

All available recordings from this tour:

A few highlights:

During the Plymouth performance, Al conveys to the British audience the musical foundation of the Glee club member:

“But we are not trying to get them in any way to go in music as a livelihood. But what a great and wonderful thing they can be, to go to any community if they like to sing well enough and have had the experience of singing many times for many people, and to be of great help in the average community chorus and church choir. So that’s one of our aims in trying to do this as well as to give them a wonderful avocational thing to hold onto the rest of their lives.

They can’t play football, basketball, rugby, or soccer or whatever you play after you get to be as old as I. And that’s pretty old, but you can still sing. It’s still fun.”

-Al Stewart

The 1963-64 Glee Club Pictured: The 1963-64 Glee Club. Source: Purdue Debris Archives

Listen to Al’s detailed summary of the itinerary of the trip during the 1964 End Of Season concert.

The Purdue Exponent article has a thorough summary of the tour in the April 14, 1964 Purdue Exponent. According to the article the first concert was June 5, 1964 in Ireland, concluding with a performance in Rome, where a charter flight departed July 3rd. (that seems like an incredibly long tour!)

The University Glee Club will tour Europe this summer, presenting concerts in Ireland, England, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy.

NINE MAJOR concerts are scheduled. Albert P. Stewart, director of Purdue Musical Organinations, stated that he has received a number of requests for additional appearances by the Glee Club. “We will accept as many of these as we can,” he said, “and probably will sing at least a dozen concerts before the tour is completed.”

The Glee Club selections will be entirely American musical numbers. “People in Europe like to hear American selections,” said Stewart. “Just as we in this country like to hear groups from other countries sing their traditional songs, so they like to hear Americans sing American music. We want them to hear and enjoy our music-not listen to us try to interpret their music.”

“THIS WILL be our third tour of Europe,” stated Stewart. “The group has worked diligently in order to arrange this tour. I would stress the fact that the entire cost of this trip is privately financed. Each member of the tour is paying part of the expenses from his own pocket, with the balance of the costs paid from earnings of the Purdue Musical Organizations.”

The group will fly directly from Chicago to Shannon, Ireland. They will open their concert tour with an appearance in the oldest city in Ireland, Limerick, on the night of June 5. One other concert in this country, is slated for the next evening in Dublin.

FROM DUBLIN, the group will travel to England where they will open the campaign for 1 the Welsh National Eisteddfod (Festival of Music) with an appearance in Swansea. Two concerts are scheduled for London, one sponsored by the American Embassy.

After stops in Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, the Glee Club will fly to Hamburg, Germany, to sing a concert arranged by a former Purdue Glee Club soloist, Holger Schmidt-Hamann.

ONE OF THE highlights of the entire tour will be their stop at Bückeburg, Germany, home of the famous Obernkirchen Children’s Choir. Here they will sing two concerts under the sponsorship of the Children’s Choir, and during this three-day stop over, they will be guests in the homes of the children.

“Actually, we discovered this choir and were instrumental in bringing them to the United States for their first tour,” said Stewart. “We more or less ‘adopted’ them, and ever since, our Glee Club and the Children’s Choir have corresponded.”

ANOTHER major concert is planned for Berne, Switzerland. From here the Glee Club will make brief stops in Innsbruck, Austria; Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy. They board their charter flight at Rome on July 3 for the return flight to the United States.

William Luhman, accompapist for the Purdue Musical Organizations, and Bruce McGuire, assistant director, will accompany the Glee Club throughout the tour.

The Purdue Exponent, 14 April 1964


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