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{September 27, 2010}   On Being a “Gleek”

I was at the grocery store recently and the cashier was wearing a “Gleek” button.  For anyone who doesn’t know what this means, it means you are a follower of the TV show, “Glee,” about a high school glee club.  I had a nice conversation with the girl; she breathlessly told me that when she was 14, she had seen the star of the show on Broadway.  My husband and I talked about it on the way out; we called it a “healthy obsession”. This is one of the most wonderful things about the show: the resurgence of an appreciation for musical theater, and the idea that wholesome fun can be “cool”.  Although the show wouldn’t be called “wholesome” by some because it depicts teen pregnancy and a gay character, but that is today’s reality. (At least drugs are not an issue; in my mind, there are much worse things to be into in high school than singing.)

I was a “gleek” when it didn’t have a name and it wasn’t cool; it was called “chorus,” and back then my school system offered it from grammar school to high school.  It was only slightly less geeky than being in the band.  We performed concerts and musicals such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Guys and Dolls”.  I was never a star (I was usually a background singer), but it was a lot of fun and gave me confidence.  I still enjoy seeing high school glee clubs perform. We used to have a local one come in to sing and dance at Christmas time at my former employer and it was one of the highlights of the year to me.

At a time when many school programs can’t afford to provide extra curricula activities like glee club to their students (and if they have some, sports always come first); it’s great for kids to see what fun it can be and keep the love of musical theater alive.  Long live the Gleeks!

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Bernadette says:

I was a band “gleek” in junior high school myself. Love this show.

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