In the Fall 1983 Glee Gab, Soup wrote:
I came to Rutgers as a freshman in 1928. After four years as an undergraduate in the Glee Club, during my senior year, I had my first opportunity to conduct. In that year (1932) we entered a Glee Club contest sponsored by the Intercollegiate Musical Council in Carnegie Hall, N.Y. For this contest a student leader was needed. I won the competition for the job and consequently my first appearance in public as a conductor was in Carnegie Hall on February 27, 1932. Professor McKinney asked me to continue leading the Club during the remainder of my senior year. At commencement time he invited me to continue conducting the Club. I gratefully (and gleefully) accepted the invitation and returned to the campus. Like the Man who Came to Dinner, I "stayed and stayed."
sent by John Vila
A 1965 Rehearsal at the old Music Building at Douglass
Three photos by Bob Brown, on assignment to the Scarlet Letter.
Click on each photograph for a larger version. Comments are from former members of the choir.
John Vila's autographed score from that tour and the review of the performance. Click for larger versions and the poignant review.
Part of the performance by was broadcast and was formerly available on uTube. CBS now prevents us from seeing the this, as clicking on the link below shows.
Left, Soup and Eric Leinsdorf - c. 1957, center, Soup at Carnegie Hall, 1957, right, Soup and Eugene Ormandy - c. 1962. Photos from Ken Deveney.
A 1962 letter from Eugene Ormandy to Soup - an interesting insight into the mind of the Maestro!
From John Vila's collection.
Click on any of these photographs for a larger version
George Fredric Handel, Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day Soloists Adele Addison (soprano) John McCollum (tenor) New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, Rutgers University Choir Sony Classical 60731.
May 2, 1959
Carl Orff, Carmina Burana, Soloists Janice Harsanyi, Harve Presnell, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Rutgers University Choir, Sony Classical 47668.
This recording is still commercially available.
Belshazzer's Feast, William Walton, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Rutgers University Choir.
Ein Deutches Requiem, Johannes Brahms, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Rutgers University Choir, recorded and broadcast for President Kennedy's Television Memorial Service.
During the 1966 European tour, the Glee Club stayed at a small hotel in Echternach, Luxembourg. The hotel had a large central ventilation shaft and some of the guys discovered that the acoustics were pretty good in there. Soon the whole club was singing out of several floors of windows. Soup found that he could climb through his room window onto a ledge and he began to conduct us. Someone tossed him a rose.
Click on the photos for a closer view!
It would be wonderful to have names of all those in the photos and to have more years to display.
Soup, Dr. McKinney and the Glee Club - 1947
Soup directing the RUGC on the flight to Amsterdam - 1966
At a 1966 Glee Club Convention at Emory University Campus, Atlanta, 1966, Soup tries out a the latest fad, a skateboard. Photo by Bob Brown
Directing - the 1966 European tour at Echternach
Tosci, Soup's companion from c. 1967
Soup directing - 1970's
Soup and Dave Drinkwater, possibly in Kirkpatrick Chapel in 1956?The Glee Club and The Kirkpatrick Choir have out in a Christmas Concert for many years. One of the highlights of the evening was from Honeger's King David
This YouTube video is not from those concerts, but feels very close to what we did:
At the moment You Tube requires you to double click on the white triangle in the middle of the screen and then click on the gray triangle at the bottom of the screen.
Each year, a small contingent of the Glee Club would gather at Lake Minnewaska before the college year began. The prime objective was pre-term singing practice, but there was time for swimming, long walks, visits to Emil's, horseback riding, sailing etc. We stayed in Wildmere, one of two Mountain Houses (hotels)
A pre-1917 postcard (postage is one cent) of Cliff House Hotel. The post card is printed by the New York, Ontario & Western Railway which had a station at Ellenville, connecting popular Lake Minnewaska hotels with New York City.
From Greg Lozier's (Glee Club Manager 1966) scrapbook - a postcard of the lake and both mountain houses and eight great snaps. Click for larger photos.
We would finish the five day stay with an evening concert sung at Cliff House to an audience across the lake at Wildmere. On at least one occasion, the club sang antiphonally, half at each mountain house.
Rehearsals were in a shingled wooden cabin, complete with piano and a bust of (I think) Beethoven. This is a 1957 rehearsal sent by Ken Devenney
From a 1964 Glee Gab sent by Phil Fontana
Art took this photo in 2011 - the cabin is still there and is now used for nature studies.
Breakfast in the woods after a very early morning horseback ride. Sent by Phil Fontana from a 1964 Glee Gab. I well remember that Eric was very cold.
Phil F. has provided these photos from the 1964 Glee Gab
And another from Ken Devenney On the back of the photo it says Emil's (after drinks) 3-16-57.
Cliff House burned to the ground in 1978, Wildmere in 1986. The land is now a NY State Preserve. Chip Noon reminded me of this website, which gives the history of the resort and State Preserve:
A four record set of Rutgers songs, published by Nelson Cornell, consists of four red 78rpm discs. From the album cover it is not clear if the recordings were in 1943 before the Glee Club disbanded for the duration, or in 1947, when the album was released. Purchased by Art from eBay in about 2008.
A four record set of Glee Club Christmas Concert in Kirkpatrick Chapel. Another four record set of Rutgers songs, published by Nelson Cornell, consists of four red 78rpm discs. Purchased from eBay by a consortium of Glee Clubbers in 2015.
An LP, 33 1/3 rpm single disc. Purchased by Art on eBay c. 2010.
A 33 1/3 rpm LP. Ozzie Nelson, RU Grad, heard the Glee Club on a 1960 tour in California and suggested this LP. Each song is introduced by Ozzie and the song list includes O Magnum Mysterium.
33 1/3 rpm LP, often available on eBay, there seems to be two different covers. The rear cover - click on the picture for a much larger version with photos and song list. I think I spot a young Alan Greenfield and Greg Tutko.
Rutgers University Glee Club F. Austin Walter Director, The Kirkpatrick Chapel Choir, Organist and Choirmaster David A. Drinkwater
These are comments and stories from people who knew Soup. He would say outlandish things conducting rehearsal and was known for many variants of his name, e.g. Professor Campbell. Please send more!
The Rutgers Alumi Magazine, 1983, on Soup's retirement.
Click for a larger, readable version.
Soup at 85!
F. Austin "Soup" Walter, age 89, of the Somerset section of Franklin Township, died Monday, May 1, 2000 at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Born in Philadelphia, son of a minister of the Reformed Church, he lived in Hackensack and Highland Park before moving to Somerset.
Professor Walter graduated from Rutgers College in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. He received an honorary Master of Arts degree in 1949 from Rutgers and in 1966 was awarded an honorary Doctorate.
Soup Walter was a distinguished Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University. After graduating in 1932, he assumed responsibility for conducting the Rutgers Glee Club. During the next 51 years, he established the group as a preeminent male singing ensemble which developed an international reputation for excellence. Under his direction, the Glee Club made twelve concert tours abroad.
In 1949, with the encouragement of (then) provost, Mason W. Gross, Soup founded the Rutgers University Choir. This choir became internationally known for its many outstanding performances with some of the world`s greatest orchestras and conductors, such as Erich Leinsdorf, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokowski.
The RU choir was nominated for a Grammy award for its recording of William Walton`s "Belshazzar`s Feast" with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Among other distinguished recordings it made are "Carmina Burana" of Carl Orff, also with Ormandy, which won a Grand Prix du Disc award, and a recording of Handel's "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" with Leonard Bernstein. Both of these recordings have been reissued and are available in CD format.
Soup taught Music History, Opera, Chamber Music, Music Appreciation (which he called "Music Depreciation") and an Art, Music and Literature class. He was a visiting professor of music at the University of Michigan and also a visiting professor at Rollins College in Florida. He was the former president of the Intercollegiate Music Council and was a member of the board of directors of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation.
He retired from teaching in 1978 but continued as director of the Glee Club until 1983, the longest professional association at the University. Soup's generosity to his students, expertise in his craft, devotion to his art and his flair for living made him one of the best known and most beloved members of the Rutgers community.
Soup was predeceased by two brothers, Robert and Judd Walter, and a sister, Miriam. He is survived by a sister-in-law, Leslie Walter of Highland Park, three nephews and several great-nieces and nephews.
written By Don Lewis
The memorial service for Soup was held on Sunday, May 21, at Kirkpatrick Chapel. Under gray skies and rain, Kirkpatrick Chapel was filled with family, friends and alumni and student singers from classes spanning over sixty years of choral experience with the Glee Club, the Kirkpatrick Chapel Choir and the RU Choir. Alumni gathered two hours before the service was to start, renewing ties - sometimes after decades, reminiscing about priceless moments in rehearsals and concerts with Soup, and marveling at the gifts he bestowed on each of us as a conductor, a teacher, and a friend.
Professor David Drinkwater coordinated the memorial service's speakers and musical selections. He conducted alumni of the RU Choir and Kirkpatrick Chapel Choir in a performance of "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place" from the Brahms Requiem.
All the congregation joined in Soup's favorite hymns: Handel's "Awake My Soul, Stretch Every Nerve," "A Rutgers Prayer," Sibelius's "Be Still My Soul," and "Hymn to Queens." The Glee Glub Director, Dr. Patrick Gardner, led us in Tchesnokov"s "Salvation Belongeth To Our God." For a hearty recessional, we sang Grieg's "Brothers, Sing On," adapted by Soup's mentor, Howard D. McKinney.
From the Handel hymn that Soup loved, there is this fitting verse:
"Blest Saviour, introduced by Thee,
Have I my race begun;
And, crowned with victory, at Thy feet
I'll lay my honors down."
Then these words, so very final, from the hymn set to Sibelius's "Finlandia":
"Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored,
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last."
Thank you, Soup, for loving life, and music, and us.
Ein Konig - A drinking song
The class of 1967 sang Ein Konig, but this spine-tingling version is by a wine-pouring-flash-mob at a Swedish Nobel Prize award ceremony. The music starts after about four minutes of wine pouring.