"When I was nineteen, I joined the Down Town Glee Club for the first time. A tall, gregarious man named Jerry welcomed me into a room of vibrant singing fellows. Jerry then introduced me to a man at a piano who radiated a distinctly powerful energy of positivity and musicality. That man would become my first conductor, and his name was Gladstone Trott. During this period while I was on sabbatical from college, the Down Town Glee Club became my second home, and a place where as a singer I could grow and flourish.
Later that year, I returned to university, leaving behind my “brothers in song,” but not forgetting the impact they had had on my life. Three years went by as I attempted to finish university, but a snag in my academic career forced me to leave college after the Spring 2008 semester. I was devastated. I felt like a failure because I had not graduated. As Summer passed into Fall, and then Winter, my face grew longer and my mind grew more weary. In January of 2009, I had a full beard and little income. Then, one day, I made a spontaneous decision. I shaved my beard, got a haircut, put on my best suit, and went to a random job interview. It happened to be on a Tuesday, which had always been the Down Town Glee Club’s rehearsal day. Although I had not spoken with anyone from the Club for years, I decided I would pay a visit on the chance that the group was still meeting at the old location.
As I walked into the library at Saint Margaret’s House, to my surprise there were faces of those whom I recognized- Steve Vrattos, Jerry Osterberg, Earl Alexander, Vernon Bruette, among many others- who let out a chorus of “Hey!” and “Look who it is!” I had not been forgotten! And, there at the helm, seated behind the piano as he had always been, was the ever-musical, and the ever-positive face of Gladstone Trott. With his usual smile and harmonious voice, he said, 'Hey Mike, come on in! Have a seat and join us. We’re just about to sing.'
In this beautiful world, we all need a home—even if it is just for one evening, for one hour, or for one glimmering moment. The Down Town Glee Club provided me with that home, not just for one winter or spring, but for all seasons."
Yours in song,
President of the Down Town Glee Club