The Miami Men’s Glee Club will premiere a new verse to Miami University’s Alma Mater Friday at the Heritage Room in the Shriver Center in front of the Myaamia Tribe, whose native language the new verse is written in.
Miami President David Hodge, Dean of the School of Fine Arts James Lentini and other Miami administrators will also be in attendance.
The backbone behind and benefactor of this project is Dale Albertson, who possesses deep interest in positively impacting Miami.
“Basically this project is about remembering Miami’s [Native American] past and acknowledging that they’re still here,” sophomore Matt Cramer, Glee Club’s secretary, said. “We are working together to represent the relationship between the university and the Myaamia tribe.”
A committee of students, faculty and Myaamia tribe members was formed to write the verse according to Cramer. While it will be sung in the Myaamia language, it translates to, “Let’s go to the Miami land, our tracks are still on the landscape, we’re still here, lets take each other by hand, lets learn from each other, lets go to the Miami land.”
To prepare for the premiere, Glee Club has been working with Daryl Baldwin, Myaamia tribe member and Miami correspondent.
According to senior Chris Walsh, who also serves as a student conductor in the group, mastering the foreign language has proven difficult.
“Learning the pronunciation has been interesting because there are certain sounds that we don’t have in the English language; some words almost sounds German,” Walsh said.
Cramer also feels the text has been challenging.
“When looking at [the language], you notice how intricate the grammar and vocabulary is,” Cramer said. “It’s much more complex than we assumed.”
This collaboration was another product of Miami’s Year of the Arts, the ongoing effort to increase promotion of the arts on campus and throughout the community.