Purdue Varsity Glee Club Performance Tour

This year for spring break I had the opportunity to travel with the Glee Club to Southwest Florida and perform for Purdue alumni, supporters of PMO, and local audiences.  It was a busy week filled with six concerts in just five days, but the audiences were so appreciative that it made it all worth it.

My favorite audience, and overall favorite experience this spring break was having the opportunity to sing for Bob Netherton, the oldest living Glee Club alumnus, at his assisted living community in Naples.  Bill Griffel, the director of Purdue Musical Organizations and the Glee Club, reminded Bob and all of us that we all share an unforgettable brotherhood and that “once a Glee Clubber, always a Glee Clubber.” 

After being back for just a couple of days, I am eager for what the rest of this semester holds and can’t wait for opportunities we will have in the future!

Yours in Song,

Zach Bucher, Sophomore

General Management and Accounting

Purdue Bells Take Chicago

Spending spring break with my Purdue Bells family was the best part of my break! Since I am student teaching this semester, I don’t get to see my choir family often. I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to perform and spend time with my friends over break.  

One of my favorite parts of the trip was spending time with our incredible homestays (local members of Trinity Lutheran Church who volunteered to host each member of the Bells for a night). We are very thankful for their generosity to take us in their home. I was especially lucky to be able to stay with one of our own members, Sara’s family, together with three other students. Our sleepover consisted of playing ping pong, lots of laughter, and girl talk. Moments like this really make my heart happy, and I know these will be the memories that I’ll always remember after I graduate.

After our show on Sunday, I met one of the PMO Club members, Mrs. Lorenz. She told me about her time at Purdue, and how both of her children were PMO alumni. I thanked her for all that she and her family did and continue to do for us and I also told her how grateful we are for our beautiful building, Bailey Hall. It was a very special moment for me. Speaking with her really made me realize the greater impact of the PMO family. It is our members, our alumni, our history, our story, and our legacy that makes PMO so unique and irreplaceable. 

As a senior, I couldn’t help but feel sad at the end of our trip. However, I’m determined to make the most out of the time I have left this semester. Bring on Spring Show! 

Yours in Song, 

Alexis Zhang, Senior 

Elementary Education

Bronze Leader of Digital Media,

Public Relations, and Social

Purduettes Spring Break Performance Tour

 For the second half of our Spring Break, the Purduettes were given the opportunity to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to collaborate with the Cincinnati Sound Chorus, a group that our good friend and PMO alumna, Marcy Ziek, belongs to. It was exciting not only to travel to a new city, but also to collaborate with such kind and talented women who still carry a passion for music in their adult lives.

One of my favorite moments of the trip was during our first rehearsal with the women of the Cincinnati Sound Chorus because they were just as excited to sing with us as we were to sing with them. The environment was one of positivity and encouragement, which allowed for friendships to bloom. Although our rehearsal was focused on productivity, we were also able to just laugh and enjoy each others’ company.

On Saturday evening, when we debuted our collaborative song “Sister Act,” I couldn’t help but have tears in my eyes as I sang with all of the women on stage. During the song, a member of the Cincinnati Sound Chorus grabbed my hand as we sang “in my sister’s eyes, I recognize the star I want to be” and I was overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. I was reminded that not only have I been blessed to be surrounded by talented and uplifting women daily in the Purduettes, but I am also able to connect with other amazing women that I may not have met before through the opportunities that PMO provides. The women of the Cincinnati Sound inspired me to continue to pursue my passion of music in my adult life and to surround myself with others who will do the same.

Yours in Song,

Maddie Moore, Sophomore

Special Education and Elementary Education


Heart & Soul Overnighter

After what turned out to be a long week of exams and papers for many of us in Heart & Soul, we were excited to dive into a night of laughter, singing, games, and delicious food during Overnighter, an event hosted every fall by our wonderful director, Rhonda Blacklock.

This year it was a bit too chilly to sing outside after dinner, so we all gathered around the piano in the living room as we dove into some of our pieces for the upcoming Fall Show and explored new territory in our Christmas Show pieces. The acoustics made us sound like we were hundreds of voices strong, and the power and energy in the room was tangible. One of Rhonda’s adorable dogs even decided to get in on the fun by joining her on the piano bench.

After rehearsal, we all split into groups where stories were shared and games were learned, won, and lost. Later on we crowded around the TV and watched last year’s Christmas Show. As this is my third year participating in PMO, the Christmas Show isn’t exactly new to me, but it was really awesome watching the new members get excited about the performance. A lot of rehearsing goes into this show, and it is great to see the final product! We also watched recordings of past performances at the Opera House in Delphi and our Fall/Spring Shows. Eventually some of us tried to get some sleep, while others stayed up the entire night watching movies until breakfast was served in the morning.

It’s always a pleasure to spend an evening with so many fun-loving and talented people. We are all truly grateful that Rhonda opens her home to us for a night of fun and music every year.

Yours in Song,

Sara Penka, Junior

Microbiology Pre-Vet

Advancement Leader



Purdue Bells Brouhaha

Brouhaha is an annual sleepover at our director, Rhonda’s house, where members of Purdue Bells indulge in an evening of bells, food, and games. As a new member this year, I did not know what to expect but I could feel excitement building as the bus drove through the cornfields.

Upon arrival, we had dinner together and set up our tables and bells on the driveway. The sun was just going down, coating a layer of gentle gold on the edge of the bells. The soothing sound of bells sounded in the quiet neighborhood as we started rehearsing through our repertoire. Some of the neighbors stopped by, rocking to the rhythm and clapping for us. Even a dragonfly was enthralled by our ringing — it kept hovering above us and did not want to leave!

As darkness fell, we went back inside and watched last year’s Christmas Show. I was so amazed by all the groups that I could not wait to be part of this spectacular show! Meanwhile, I was reminded of the hard work required for the success of the show. Looking around at my fellow ringers, I was determined to overcome all the challenges ahead. After watching the video, our new family tree (big brother/big sister pairings) was revealed and we played some bonding games until the next day.

I had a wonderful time at Brouhaha and I am really grateful for the inclusive environment that PMO created for me to grow both musically and personally. I look forward to the many rehearsals yet to come!

Yours in Song,

Karen You, Freshman

Computer Science

Picnic with the Purduettes

I cannot believe it is already approaching mid-September of my senior year at Purdue and in PMO. Time has definitely flown by faster than anyone could have predicted. I am so excited to perform in my final “Picnic with the Purduettes” on Sunday, September 10th at 6:00pm on Slayter Hill. It is the first big show of the Purduettes’ fall season, and it’s free! We are looking forward to a big crowd full of families, friends, and students of Purdue. (Dogs are always welcome too!) So be sure to grab your lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and blankets and come find the best spot on Slayter Hill! This will be such a fun evening full of a variety of music and choreography so you won’t want to miss the 2017-2018 Purduettes Season debut. All of the women have been working so hard, and the new women are incredibly talented! We are so excited to have them be a part of our group, and I am very honored to be a senior and help guide them during their first year of a wonderful journey with PMO.

Through PMO, I have met my life-long friends, traveled to Costa Rica and across the United States for Spring Break tours, worked with fellow PMO students on academic achievement, and I have developed professional networking skills. I have so much to be grateful for and can’t thank PMO enough. During my time in Purduettes, I have had many “firsts” and now, in my final year, I know I will have many “lasts.” This Sunday will be my “last” Picnic with the Purduettes, at least as a student. I plan to come back and attend shows as a proud alumna to support my sisters in song. If you enjoy what you see this Sunday at Picnic, please check out the PMO calendar for our other shows this fall, and be sure to get your tickets for the 84th Annual Purdue Christmas Show on December 2nd and 3rd! I have been so privileged to be a part of the 10-n-10 dancing group for the last three years, and I am so excited to show you all what we have in store for my last year this year! Be sure to come see the Purduettes on Slayter Hill this Sunday at 6:00pm and get your Christmas Show tickets now!

Yours in Song,

Ashley Straut, Senior

Psychology/Master’s of Public Health

Gold of Public Relations/Campus Relations


Purdue Bells Camp

On the first Saturday of fall semester, Purdue Bells hosts the annual “Bells Camp” at Bailey Hall. And yes, it’s just as fun as it sounds. We spend seven hours rehearsing the semester’s repertoire, studying our performance calendars, and learning about the history and traditions of Purdue Musical Organizations and its ensembles.

This year, Bells Camp happened to fall on “National Dog Day,” so our director, Rhonda, unleashed her imagination and created something extra special for us. Some of the items our itinerary entailed were: “Sniff, sniff (dog greetings),” where we learned how PMO students introduce themselves during shows; “Off to the groomer,” where we learned how to pack up, transport, load, and set up all of our equipment; “Sit—stay,” which was a two-hour block of rehearsal; and “Puppy chow,” which was when we paused for lunch.

If it’s not clear already, Bells Camp is about a lot more than just rehearsing. What it is for me is a chance to spend seven straight hours doing something I love with 18 of my favorite people. We get acquainted with our new members, catch up with people we didn’t get to see all summer, and learn a lot of music. It’s truly a privilege to be part of the Bells and PMO families, and Bells Camp was a great start to the semester. We’re looking forward to an exciting year of shows and hope to see you at many of them!

Yours in Song,

Eleanor Coffin, Sophomore

Visual Design Engineering

Glee Club First Nighter

The Glee Club First Nighter show has always been the most fun for me. After two weeks of essentially nothing but Glee Club, the rush of performing our first full show in front of hundreds of people has always been such a rush.

As a Senior member in Glee Club, this First Nighter concert carries a special significance for me. Every year I have looked up to the senior members of the group, still so excited and full of energy after so much time in Glee Club. This year, I see that excitement more than ever from the underclassmen. This is the most talented, hard-working group of young men that I have had the pleasure to be a part of, and that excites me all the more. Knowing that this group is only going to continue to grow and improve after I am gone is the most invigorating feeling.

I have also looked back on how much support Purdue Musical Organizations has given me. Over the course of the last three years, I have gained hundreds of brothers and sisters in song, grown professionally and socially, and developed a lifelong love of music. I could not have done all that without all of the love and support of the PMO staff and all of our friends who have allowed us to share our gift of music with the world.

We are all so excited to unveil 5 brand new songs for our audience at the concert, and I know that my 20 new brothers in song cannot wait to perform our first full show. We are going to have an incredible year, and we cannot wait to see you all there to help us kick it off right. See you there!

Yours in Song,

Ted Fry, Senior

Marketing and Management

Sir of RRLT and Digital Media

Purduettes and Purdue Varsity Glee Club at Camp Tecumseh

     Greetings from Camp Tecumseh! Today marks our 5th day of Purdue Musical Organization’s annual Purduettes/Glee Club camp week. Starting this past Sunday at Bailey Hall, members of the Purduettes and Purdue Varsity Glee Club began rehearsing and preparing for the upcoming year. Tasks include learning new music, perfecting choreography, and meeting our brand new brothers and sisters in song. Yesterday morning, we packed our things, bid farewell to our generous homestays, and moved from Purdue’s campus to YMCA Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, Indiana. Purduettes spent the first day learning and cleaning choreography for two of our favorite songs while the Glee Club spent the day rehearsing exciting new music to unveil at our performance for family and friends at the end of camp. We took a break from our rehearsals to share an evening bonfire complete with marshmallows and s’mores.

       In addition to our returning Old Men and Women, Purdue Musical Organizations is welcoming 21 New Men to the Glee Club and 20 New Women to the Purduettes. For the returning members, New Men/Women camp is a special memory to reflect upon. Sophomore Maddie Moore says, “Looking back, I realize how much I’ve grown. As time went on, I was able to focus on what’s most important: musicianship, sisterhood, and professional development. I’ve made the best friendships that I’ve ever had here, expanded my musical horizons, and been able to meet people that are able to help me achieve my career goals. I can’t wait until next year’s camp to see how much more I’ve grown!” Junior Brandon Lehn adds, “My hope for the New Men is that they can embrace this group and feel connected to everyone. I look forward to performing with them throughout the year!”

     As always, we are incredibly grateful to the PMO and YMCA Camp Tecumseh staff for all of their work to make this week possible for us. When we return to campus, the year begins immediately! The Purduettes and the Purdue Varsity Glee Club will be performing at First United Methodist Church in West Lafayette on Sunday August 20th, and the Glee Club will kick off their season with First Nighter, a free concert in Elliott Hall of Music on August 25th. See our “Calendar” tab for more information on these performances.

Yours in Song,

Sarah Weaver, Junior

Social Studies Education

Gold of Digital Media & Scholarship