History of the Foundation
In 1949, G. Wallace “Woody” Woodworth, the then-conductor of the Harvard Glee Club, and his predecessor, Archibald T. “Doc” Davison, began discussions with several former members of the Glee Club regarding the formation of an organization to provide permanent financial support for the Glee Club. These discussions led to the formation in February, 1950 of the Harvard Glee Club Foundation, an organization composed of all former members of the Harvard Glee Club. Original Directors of the Foundation included:
Marshall W. S. Swan – President
E. Barr Peterson – Treasurer
Gordon K. Scott – Secretary
Mayo A. Shattuck
The Foundation’s February 13, 1950 Charter listed the purposes of the Foundation as:
- To assist in the work of the Harvard Glee Club in all ways which are deemed proper by the corporation
- To promote and encourage the composition, study and performance of choral music of high artistic standards in the United States of America
- To promote and encourage deeper international understanding through the medium of personal and recorded performances abroad of choral music of high artistic standards
- To make contributions from time to time to established musical organizations, including university or school glee clubs or choral societies, and to other organizations, in order to promote and encourage the performance of choral music.
- To promote and encourage research in the field of choral music and allied fields; and to assist lecturers, teachers and students through grants-in-aid, scholarships, loans, and prizes.
- To publish and disseminate (but not primarily for profit) musical scores, articles, books, pamphlets, music recordings and other materials relating to choral music.
- To obtain and maintain facilities in furtherance of any of the foregoing objects and purposes, including the purchase, lease or construction of suitable physical facilities such as library, office space and a concert hall for the performance of choral and other music.
Over the years, the Foundation’s principle pursuits have primarily revolved around raising money to support the activities of the Harvard Glee Club. In recent years, and especially in preparation for the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Harvard Glee Club in 2008, the Foundation has embraced a broader understanding of its purpose, encompassing more of what the original Directors of the Foundation outlined in the Charter.
Since the successful Foundation-hosted celebration of the Harvard Glee Club Sesquicentennial, an invigorated Foundation is now actively exploring possibilities for making an even greater impact in the world of choral music, and especially men’s music.
The Foundation’s present membership includes some 2,000 former singers from almost all of Harvard’s schools who now live on six continents.