Glee Club Connects EHS Students With Music

Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief

Have you ever been hesitant to join a class or club, nervous that you didn’t have what it takes to make it in? Maybe you were passionate about the subject but didn’t meet the requirements. Most preforming arts classes at EHS require some type of experience, restricting students without those credits who want to join. The new glee club, however, doesn’t require any experience and is open to anyone who likes to sing.

According to, glee clubs started forming in England as early as 1783. The use of the word glee comes from the old English term glēo, which means “mirth, jesting, entertainment, music.” In the 17th century, glee started being used as a name for “a type of musical composition for three or more voices, specifically an unaccompanied part of such a song.” The term gleeman was used for a performer or entertainer.

However, what makes the glee club at EHS different from other performing arts classes/clubs is the fact that it is less formal and isn’t competitive. Choir instructor and club sponsor Emily Ottwein said the biggest difference is that it’s open for anyone who wants to sing, especially with others.

“It’s just a low pressure ‘let’s get together and sing’ club,” she said. “There is so much joy to be found in singing with other people…singing with others builds friendships, a sense of community and individual confidence.”

Another difference is that it’s a student-led club, as opposed to a class. Senior choir member Da’Shon Dunn came up with the idea for the club, and according to Ms. Ottwein, is also “an amazingly talented singer and a natural leader.”

Dunn said he wanted to create this club specifically for “people who can’t take music classes, but still want to feel connected” to music in some way.

“I personally believe resources like these should be available for everyone, regardless of age or experience level,” Dunn said.

He said the idea originally came to him when he was reflecting on his first day of school this year. As a new student, he remembered how nervous he had been about joining the school’s chamber choir because, after watching videos of them online, he “didn’t see many people that looked like him.” But Dunn said that once he met the “amazing people” that were part of it, he felt at home.

“I knew this place or a place like this could be home to many more…many more people who look like me…many that don’t,” he said. “I knew this place had to be created and accessible for everyone.”

At each meeting, Dunn plans to have the members learn and sing songs that are typically heard on the radio today. The less experienced members will be learning how to put different aspects of music together, and the more experienced singers in the club will be the ones teaching them.

According to Ms. Ottwein, the songs that are taught will eventually be performed throughout the school, community and even at choir concerts. However, this isn’t the end goal; if a student isn’t comfortable with preforming, they don’t have to.

“Glee isn’t just a club,” Dunn said. “It’s the goal to connect people who typically wouldn’t be, through the warmth and happiness music can bring.”