If someone had told you ten years ago that geeks would one day rule over us all, you would have laughed.
Well, laugh no more, because that day has come. And it won’t be long before we’re all singing a song about it. In harmony. With a few dance moves.
The Glee phenomenon has swept the world in recent years, with Gen Y in particular caught up in the renaissance of things once considered dorky such as show tunes, harmonised singing, and matching outfits – together with a few modern twists like mash-ups and anything ever performed by Lady Gaga.
Audiences have enjoyed connecting with their own inner ‘Gleek’ for the past three years at the To Glee or Not to Glee event held each year as part of the USQ Shakespeare in the Park Festival. This event gives school and community groups the chance to take part in a one-night spectacular of song and dance, and celebrate all that is wonderful about young talent and the unbridled joy that can come from performing.
“To Glee or Not to Glee is all about having fun – it is light-hearted and non-competitive,” Project Co-ordinator Alison Riethmuller says. “Performing together in a group can be a really uplifting and joyful experience – it’s hard not to smile and sing along when there are lots of voices joined together with harmonies and great rhythm and movement.”
Glee is now in its fifth season on our television screens, and the decision to tap into its success at the annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival was well supported right from the beginning. To Glee or Not to Glee has evolved into an event increasingly driven by the young performers themselves, which fits perfectly with the ethos of the Creative Arts program at USQ.
“Jess Berwick, a third year vocal student out here, has totally organised the USQ performance in the event, and that’s very fitting because the event is geared towards that generation,” USQ Music Lecturer Melissa Forbes said. “And that sort of collaborative approach really matches what we are doing in our music program.”
Groups from Warwick and Oakey will also take part in the Glee showcase. The song list for the night is a closely guarded secret, but organisers say to “listen out for Adele, Whitney Houston, Cindy Lauper, Pink, Cold Play, Beyonce and even something from Grease”.
But even those not singing on stage will have fun, with plenty of crowd participation planned.
So what makes a good Glee song? “It needs to be catchy, encourage movement, and have harmonies,” Ms Riethmuller says.
To Glee or Not to Glee will be held on Wednesday 16 October at 6.30pm on the Shakespeare Festival mainstage at the University of Southern Queensland. Tickets are $5, and are available through the USQ Artsworx Box Office on 07 4631 1111 or at the gate on the night.
USQ Artsworx | University of Southern Queensland