GODFREY – When the Notre Dame Glee Club performed for the first time at Lewis and Clark three years ago, Godfrey native Ted Kratschmer was among the performers on stage. Now a full time Water Resources and Sustainability Coordinator with the college and National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, he’s welcoming his “brothers in song” back to town this St. Patrick’s Day for an encore performance.
Kratschmer, who comes from a family with several Notre Dame alumni, was a member of the Notre Dame Glee Club from 2007 to 2010, when he graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. He now looks back on his time with the club and their performance here on campus in 2009 very fondly.
“One of the traditions on tour is if we come through your hometown, you get to conduct the alma mater and school fight song, which is a real treat,” he said. “It was really cool to see people in the audience I knew who normally didn’t get to see this kind of show.”
The Notre Dame Glee Club comprises around 70 male students who audition to become a part of the group. Their normal performance schedule includes a Spring Concert, a Fall Concert, a Holiday Concert and tours each fall and spring semester, as well as international tours every two years.
“We probably do 2o to 30 concerts every semester. We sang for notable visitors on campus, like Chief Justice John Roberts; we sang the National Anthem at basketball games and boxing matches; we sang for administrative parties and at building dedications and more,” he said. “It’s mostly a cappella, although we also sang regularly with the South Bend (Indiana) Symphony Orchestra. Our general repertoire is anything from Renaissance pieces to drinking songs, folk songs and barber shop tunes.”
Kratschmer always enjoyed singing and performed in musicals as a student at Marquette Catholic High School in Alton. He got involved in the Notre Dame Glee Club through some neighbors in his dorm, and found an outlet for his love of performing as well as a tight knit group of friends.
“Performing was certainly a highlight, but it was also a brotherhood,” he said.
When the club returns to Lewis and Clark to perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, the Kratschmers and friends will play host to current student performers – some of whom Ted used to sing with.
“We’re hosting at least three guys, and a lot of my family and friends are hosting people too, so it will be fun to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with them,” Kratschmer said. “The show will be a different experience – to sit in the audience and really listen, and try hard not to sing along – but it’s nice to be able to support the group. We always had great support when I was in the group, so it’s nice to be able to show the current members that support.”
As far as what audiences can expect - typically, the first half of the show is the classical portion, followed by a more popular selection after intermission. One highlight of the show will be an “instrumental” Indian Raga, and of course, there should be at least one drinking song, he said.
“This is a chance to see a group that’s regarded as world class, and it’s a bonus, because of our Irish heritage and mascot, to see this performance on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said.
Tickets for this one-time concert are on sale now for $10 each ($5 for students) through the L&C Music Department, as well as at all Liberty Bank locations. All proceeds will benefit the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation.
For more information, contact Lewis and Clark’s Media Services department at (618) 468-3200.