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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

DPU brings back The Men of Note for alumni weekend

Monday, June 10, 2013

Founded by students in 1963 at DePauw University, The Men of Note recently performed as part of Alumni Weekend this Saturday. The group started in 1963 and several of the members have remained friends through the years. The group includes David Kingsley, David Ketchum, Steve Hadley, Jack Thomas, Tim Grodrian, Fred Parker and Fred Haigh. Tim Grodian's son, John, also performed with the group.
Alumni of all ages made their way back to Greencastle this weekend to celebrate DePauw University's annual Alumni Weekend. Among the many activities planned to keep the alumni busy was a concert by The Men of Note, who originally formed at DePauw in 1963. The concert also honored one of the club's founders, Dorn Younger.

Two DePauw students, Frank Jacobs and Younger, founded the group, an independent student organization glee club.

Younger was the group's writer, who created original close harmony arrangements from the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Jacobs acted as the pianist and recruiter to find singers.

In the early years, the group performed at many of DePauw's functions including Mom's Day and Dad's Day concerts as well as serenades for that special someone.

The group also played many off campus concerts including a joint show with the Wabash Glee Club as well as with the Indianapolis Sinfonietta and at Expo '67, the World's Fair in Montreal.

"We've had four reunions in the past 10 years," said Men of Note member Tim Grodrian. "We had a fabulous group that started in 1963 and we just never wanted to let it go. As the years went on we began to realize that many of us are singers and done all kinds of things and that there isn't anything like The Men of Note."

After several years, the group decided to make their comeback in 2004 at Meharry Hall on Old Gold Weekend.

As was tradition, the group practiced for nearly four hours to prepare for the full concert, which led to a reunion they never expected.

"Dorn and Frank met for the first time in 40 years," said Grodrian. "They had no contact whatsoever for 40 years. We had all seen each other, but they never saw each other. From that an unbelievable flowering of creativity occurred. Dorn also began to compose again after many years."

Since the reunion Dorn has written over 20 works of music, which has been performed by groups in China and around the United States.

Younger is still composing music daily, which was the reason for him being honored during the Saturday morning performance, but he was unable attend due to a health condition.

The group lasted at DePauw for 25 years, but the members have becomes friends forever, which is apparent as they reflect on their year's at DePauw.

"Though we spent so many hours together, we didn't actually know each other very well," said Grodrian. "It was through these reunions and coming back that we began to realize that this thing that we had was really amazing. We didn't have one discussion about anything substantial when we were in college doing this. It wasn't until later, when we had more context in life that we realized what a remarkable journey this has been."

The members of the group have had quite the journey up until this point. Since their first reunion show in 2004, the Men of Note try to get together as often as they can.

"I come back for class reunions, but this is more important to me than anything," said member Jack Thomas. "It's because we actually do something together."

To watch the Men of Note perform visit www.youtube.com/depauwmenofnote.

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Thanks be to God and Greencastle for our wonderful June 8 weekend! We've staged alumni concerts in 1988, 2001, 2004 and 2008 and never failed to have a great time! Ditto for 6-8-2013 although it was an abbreviated performance. Sometimes we even sound good, judging by audience response, and this time we had a lot of new music to celebrate too, from our founding composer. We shall return!

-- Posted by Men of Note alumni singer on Thu, Jun 20, 2013, at 2:09 PM

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