Chesapeake Choral Arts Society Sponsors Concert by Purdue University’s Varsity Glee Club

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Purdue University Varsity Glee Club (PVGC) will present a 90-minute concert on Tuesday, March 13, at New Life Church in La Plata. Acclaimed as the school's “finest ambassadors” because of their integrity, passion, unparalleled showmanship and attention to every detail, the men of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club have proudly served with honor and dignity for more than 115 years.

Founded in 1893, this select ensemble has entertained on behalf of Purdue University for campus, community, state, national and international events, averaging between 50-60 appearances each year. Embodying the spirit of service above self, the men of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club (PVGC) represent different backgrounds and hometowns across the country, consistently maintaining a high level of academic excellence with majors ranging from engineering to education to management to biological sciences.

One of its members, William “Billy” Thiedeman, hails from Waldorf.  Billy is a senior at Purdue University studying Mass Communications and Film & Media Studies.  He has been an active member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club and its specialty groups since his arrival at Purdue University in 2008.

Prior to attending Purdue, Billy attended  Maurice J. McDonough High School in Pomfret, where he sang with the Chamber Choir ("Madrigal Lords & Ladies"), Show Choir ("McDoNotes"), and the Men's Choir.  He was also a four-year veteran of the McDonough Drama Club, performing in many productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), and High School Musical (Ryan).

Additionally, Billy was involved with the Port Tobacco Players as an Encore Kid, Encore Teen, and actor in several mainstage productions including Seussical (Horton)  and Stalag 17. A recipient of the Lillian B. Medas Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually by the Port Tobacco Players, Billy continues his involvement in the performing arts as a member of the PVGC.

This dynamic musical troupe employs a versatile repertoire including gospel, vocal jazz, swing, contemporary hits, romantic ballads, classical choral selections, barbershop, folk melodies, patriotic standards, familiar opera choruses, country and novelty tunes, and utilizes small groups and outstanding soloists to further enhance each show.

Under the direction of Bill Griffel, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club continues to share a sound all its own through one-of-a-kind arrangements in tailor-made performances for audiences of all ages.

Prior to the concert, the PVGC will hold a convocation with members of the High School Chamber Choirs from each of the Charles County High Schools.  During this convocation, the Glee Club will share audition tips, performance tips, and information about college, particularly opportunities to continue participation in musical performance beyond high school, even if the college doesn’t offer a major in music. Additionally, the Glee Club will rehearse a musical composition with the high school students and members of the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society, which will then be performed at the end of the concert as a combined number with over 180 voices!

Chesapeake Choral Arts Society president, Carol Charnock explains, “The Chesapeake Choral Arts Society performs three different concerts throughout the year for our local audiences.  We have long wanted to sponsor other groups to come perform as well.  With the Purdue group coming to the area, and the son of one of our members singing in that group, well it just made sense to present our audiences with this opportunity.  Our choir is open to high school singers and above, so this also gives us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the participating high school students, and encourage them to come sing with us.  Personally, I’m excited about that final number with over 180 voices combined!”

Sample Performances of the PVGC and Purchase Tickets
To hear or view videos of the PVGC, visit the website of the sponsoring organization, the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society ( and follow the links from there to a website that has been created for this concert.  There you can learn more about PVGC, CCAS, and purchase your tickets to attend the March 13th concert.  Tickets are sold online for $15 each.  Remaining tickets will be available at the door (cash only), but the price increases to $20 for at-the-door sales.