Who’s in the Choir?

Posted By on September 10, 2013

Teddy Roosevelt, Tina Fey, Joe Montana, Barbra Streisand
Why join the choir?  Well, for one reason, you’d be in some very good company.  Here’s a rundown of some former choir members:

Want to have something in common with our country’s leaders?  Woodrow Wilson was a member of the UVA Virginia Glee Club, while Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt both sang with the Harvard Glee Club.  And General H. Norman Schwarzkopf sang and conducted the choir at West Point.

Can you be an athlete and a singer?  Ask Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Danica Patrick, and Sugar Ray Leonard — they all sang in choir.

Some of our great composers enjoyed choral singing as well.  Leonard Bernstein and Elliot Carter were in the Harvard Glee Club.  Charles Ives was in the Yale Glee Club, as was Cole Porter (who also found time to write more than 300 songs while he was at Yale).

Maybe choral singing can’t guarantee a life of fame and fortune, but all of these celebrities sang in choir at some point in their lives:   Blake Lively was part of In Sync (no, not N’ Sync! In Sync is the show choir at Burbank High School).  In her pre-acting days, Glenn Close was a member of Up With People.  Other former choir members include Tina Fey, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Amy Adams, Wayne Brady, James Belushi, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, and Jamie Foxx.

Last but not least, these folks shouldn’t come as a surprise;  they all make their living in the music industry:  Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly Clarkson, Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys, Usher, Dee Snider, Lance Bass, Avril Lavigne, Clay Aiken, Lenny Kravitz, and Axl Rose.  Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond were in choir together at Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School.

Who’s your favorite choir-member-turned-celeb? Has your school or church had a choir member who went on to be famous?

About the author

Jen Tolnay has been working for J.W. Pepper since 1991. She has primarily worked in customer service, and is now spending much of her time on Pepper’s social media efforts. Jen has a degree in music theory from Temple University, and spent many years musical directing and accompanying musical theatre productions. She currently accompanies a weekly church service, and also is the accompanist for a local elementary school and middle school. Her favorite musical activity is jamming with her two teenagers.


2 Responses to “Who’s in the Choir?”

  1. Mark Railey says:

    I constantly look for documentation that I can use to inspire parents to encourage their sons to join the choir. Thank you. May I have permission to place an excerpt of the article with a link on our website? – Mark Railey, Director The Vermont Boychoir

  2. Jen Tolnay says:

    Absolutely! I hope the article is helpful to you in your recruitment efforts.

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