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That's it!

It's so simple, and it's been the case all along, but now we have a hit TV show that makes our point for us.

Maybe I should back up?

Alright: it all started the first time you heard vocal harmony. Admit it - there was something there. Something powerful. You loved the sound, the interweaving of the voices.

And then you saw your first a cappella concert, which I'll bet you can remember to this day. The energy in the room, the sound of pure voices, the excitement that the voices could fill a room, and the range of emotions amplified by a row of people, all expressing. All singing.

Then you sang. You had to sing. We all did. You sang in school... but it was different. Third grade chorus was fun, but this was different. You were singing music you loved. Difficult harmonies. Amazing arrangements. You felt like a rock star.

And the friends you made were some of the best you've ever had. Something about the experience of creating vocal harmony that brings people together. Hard to describe.

Maybe it was cool. Maybe it wasn't. You didn't really care. It was amazing. 

That is what Glee is all about. 

For those of you who haven't seen it, Glee is a new hour-long comedy show on Fox, airing on Wednesday nights. The pilot aired in the spring, and again tonight, with the season premier next Wednesday. I highly recommend it. Some a cappella, some vocal harmony with instruments, lots of laughs, and most of all an incredibly overwhelming infectious energy.

The show manages to capture that ineffable spirit that we're all drawn to, and that we all remember so fondly.

And yet... it's a comedy. Imagine Bad-News-Bears-apella. The jokes come fast and frequently, and they're often at the singers' expense. But it's alright, because the singers have the last laugh. 

We have the last laugh.

How? Because the music is so strong, the performances so unabashedly fun, the whole experience so... complete. They give it their all. And it works. You smile. The way you don't usually smile when watching television.

In other words, the "New Directions" are dorky, but they're great... just like a cappella has been and will be. The show doesn't run from the stereotypes, but rather embraces them, and squeezes them within an inch of their lives. And yet, in the end, it's all about the music. And we're completely won over. 

And that's the key to the whole issue of "coolness" that's frequently raised in these hallowed halls. And in Pitch Perfect. And in many album reviews in the mainstream media.

Glee makes a very strong case for the obvious yet elusive truth: Who cares if it's cool or not, because if the music is great, it doesn't matter. If you're happy, it doesn't matter. 

But... take it one step further: it does matter if you're not singing, if you're not happy.

One more point: The director used to be in the glee club as a student, but it folded. He missed music, so he decided to start up the program again, and of course it's a very bumpy beginning, as it often is when you start a group. But he poured his energy into it, made sacrifices, and, well, we'll all just have to see how it turns out. So far so good.

Maybe you're still singing. I hope so. But many of you reading this aren't. You aren't alone. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of singers are strewn across our country... without an outlet for singing. And these people are watching Glee, and smiling. And singing along. I hope they, too, decide to turn off the TV and find an outlet where they can sing.

Most importantly, I hope you - yes, you - the person reading this right now - I hope you're singing. 

And if you're not, I highly recommend you go find a group, and sing.

Or start one!

If you don't have a name, I have a suggestion: The New Directions.


Yes sir!

I couldn't agree more, especially with the singers having the last laugh.  Not only are they doing what they love, they sound pretty awesome.  And they give their audience chills.

It's not surprising at all to me that Glee has soared to immediate popularity and been widely embraced.

Matt Emery CASA Director of Communications Three-time Recipient of RARB "Post of the Year" Title

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