Nick Hatzis ’88 was elected to the HGCF Board of Directors by HGC alumni in the 2013 election. On March 1, 2014, he attended the Board of Directors meeting held in conjunction with the Jr. Parents Weekend and had this to say:
Probably can’t tell you what a lovely evening I had in Cambridge for the Junior Parents Weekend Concert. Now I came in for the Board Meeting the next day, but I thought it was important to support the men in the concert. Why not make it a weekend? I’m sure many of you remember these concerts over the years, because you were there. They were your concerts, you sang Glorious Apollo, you sang some piece you loved and probably can still do the parts today. Well, I’m sure the men of the Glee Club today and the women of the Choral Society will remember this concert that way as well.
Well, the concert turned out to be just beginning. I really don’t think that in 1988 you could have convinced me that I would have a great time at a Harvard Glee Club Foundation board meeting. Maybe then I saw it more like going to the principal’s office: “Remember what we were.” “What are we doing now, what are we doing next?” “Have you spoken to anyone in the next tour location?” It seemed somewhat mechanical to me back then.
Don’t get me wrong,the Board still takes care of business at these meetings but there is so much more going on. First off, there were the current Glee Club members themselves. We all had an opportunity to reflect on the J-term tour to the West Coast, what it meant in terms of morale, what it meant in terms of music and what it meant in terms of bringing together that special sound we look for in the Glee Club. Remember, if you are an alum from the 70’s or 80’s or before, the number of competing singing opportunities at Harvard is immense. I may have my numbers wrong but I think there are something like 90-some other places for students to sing. We also move on to meeting the next tour manager and other new members of the student management team. And by meet, I mean, mingle, discuss. I don’t mean, sit and read and listen to a report. We share stories and experiences. And what’s our mutual purpose? What is the purpose of the meeting of the current and the past? Well, you know the answer to that, it is to move this thing that we call the Harvard Glee Club forward.
And, for that, we get a chance to hear from Andy Clark. These are hopeful discussions but also frank discussions about where the club is musically. And let me tell you, we have some challenges ahead. I’ll confess that I want the Glee Club to have a national reputation, I want to be able to bring a crowd in when the Glee Club comes to town. It’s like getting a seed in the tournament or a bid to a bowl game. We’ve got to show up and win this thing. I think Andy has a vision for what the Glee Club can become by taking advantage of our history, the music we have in our archives that others may not be doing or be capable of doing. Andy and Rob Fox ’86 also updated on Holden 2020, an exploration for all the Holden Choruses on where and how we go forward with our brother and sister choirs at Harvard. We also got a chance to hear from a leader outside of our Holden community, David Howse, the Executive Director of the Boston Children’s Chorus. Why did we have him in? Well, he talked about the challenges his organization has faced about reaching out to a community, about meeting challenges of being relevant, and maintaining excellence. There were great opportunities for real inquiry, again, with an eye on what we can take from this for the Glee Club’s future. Where do we go from here and how do we get there: these are the questions.
I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Or maybe you don’t. I am going to ask you for something. Don’t worry, it may not be what you think. I’m going to ask you for your thoughts and your time. Please think about what the Glee Club means to you and what you want it to mean to others. Go ahead and think of the Glee Club as a part of your past, but remember that it is also a part of your future, as well as someone else’s future. Think about voting for your Board members, and think about being a Board member. Remember the friends you met during your time in the club; well, you can meet more friends with the Foundation. These friends, both young and old, class of ’61, class of ’88, class of ’65 and so on, care about where the Glee Club is going. If you show up, and by that I mean, have your voice heard, the Glee Club will be better for it. But, just as importantly, you will be better for it.
Can’t wait for my next meeting! And I know that sounds a little ridiculous, but it was that fun and meaningful at the same time.