Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club

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The original Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Glee Club began in the kitchen of Joseph I. C. Clarke in 1913 in New York City. The complement of New York singers numbered twenty-three and boasted the gifted composer Victor Herbert. One of Mr. Herbert’s gifts to the original Glee Club was The Hail of the Friendly Sons. In 1981, Past President Robert E. Manley attended The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Banquet in New York and was duly impressed with their Glee Club. This was put into a report for the Trustees of the Cincinnati Society and stirred the interest of several members.

It was in September 1984 that then President Seamus Roche had lunch with Declan O’Sullivan and Bill Burke at the McAlpin’s Tea Room on West Fourth Street. They discussed the idea of forming a choral group to mirror the one in New York. Approval was needed by then Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Richard Ormond. While being a stickler for tradition, Dick was in full support of the idea under two conditions: It had to be “right,” and it couldn’t cost the Cincinnati Society anything.

The secretary of the New York Glee Club, and friend of Declan O’Sullivan, Mr. Tom Dolan, was very helpful and encouraged them to proceed. He also sent along a number of the musical arrangements sung by the New York Glee Club including those that were originally penned by Victor Herbert.

The first practice sessions were held at the College Conservatory of Music in January of 1985. Founding members included:

A concert at Seton High School, in conjunction with Irish comedian Hal Roche, attracted Tim Garry Jr. to the group, saying it was “Love at first listen.” By the time the inaugural Banquet performance was given on March 17, 1985, Tim Garry Jr., Bill Reilly, Dan Roche and Tito Bigelow had rounded out the original group. Since that time the Glee Club has performed at every Friendly Sons Banquet and marched in every St. Patrick’s Day Parade… to standing ovations.

The Cincinnati Glee Club would make great strides under the direction of Fr. Ed Smith, who left after six years to work in Rome at the Vatican. During his tenure the group grew from twelve to twenty-four members, and Fr. Smith began to write arrangements for the group. The group now presented a capella renditions in true four-part harmony. They also began to sing at other venues during the month of March. In 1992, they performed the first of what would be three concerts with Frank Patterson to a sold out crowd at Memorial Hall. The event was broadcast on PBS.

Damon Sink, graduate of the College Conservatory of Music and now Associate Professor of Music at the University of Dayton, took the baton in 1995. Since then he has written many fine arrangements specifically for the Cincinnati Glee Club: a collection of over forty songs.

The group of 40+ members now sings year round at various concerts, events, pubs, nursing homes and assorted “wakes and weddins,” averaging 35 performances per year.

Location: Hall of Mirrors
Menu: Romaine with cherry tomatoes, bacon bits & bleu cheese dressing and citrus berry mousse – salad appetizer and dessert for all entrees.

Regular Entrée – Grilled sirloin with horseradish potatoes, haricot vert & mushroom cream.
Vegetarian Entrée – Fried feta with horseradish potatoes, haricot vert & mushroom cream.
Salad Entrée – Teriyaki shrimp skewer over iceberg lettuce with shaved carrot, peanuts, edamame & ginger dressing (GF, except dressing).