Who’s in the Choir?


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?



Jen Tolnay
Jen Tolnay has been working for J.W. Pepper since 1991. She previously worked in customer service, and now spends her time on Pepper’s social media efforts. Jen has a degree in music theory from Temple University, and spent many years as musical director and accompanist for a variety of musical theatre productions She also works as the choir director/pianist/organist at a local church.

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