Hanauer brothers part of prestigious singing group
Two Bloomfield brothers are members of a prestigious Purdue University singing group that has a worldwide reputation.
Matt and Sean Hanauer, the sons of Keith and Janene Hanauer, are members of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club, an all-male singing ensemble that numbers 55.
Matt graduated in 2009 and Sean is a 2012 graduate.
Founded in 1893, the select singing ensemble has entertained on behalf of Purdue for campus, community, state, national and international events, averaging between 50-60 appearances a year.
Under the direction of William Griffel, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club employs a versatile repertoire including gospel, vocal jazz, swing, contemporary hits, romantic ballads, classical choral selections, barbershop, folk melodies, patriotic standards, familiar opera choruses, country and novelty tunes, and utilizes small groups and soloists to further enhance each show.
The brothers are excited about some upcoming performances.
The Glee Club is singing at the Indiana Ball of the U.S. Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20.
"We'll do a couple of shows out there. I believe there is one in Maryland as well. We went out there last spring break so we have a little bit of a fan base there," Matt said.
One tradition of the group is learning every member's name, hometown, college major, his school year and his voice part, said Sean, who is a baritone and an aeronautical engineering technology major.
Both of the brothers started their singing careers in elementary school at Bloomfield -- Sean as a third grader and Matt when he was in the fourth grade.
They were members of Joyful Noise, then Cardinal Song and Center Stage as they grew older.
"We used to sing along with tapes in the car as kids," Matt recalled.
The Glee Club has a special performance arranged at Bloomfield's Guy Glover Memorial Gym at 7 p.m. on April 6.
It's a tradition to do a show at each of the group senior member's hometown, if possible, Matt said.
In May, the Glee Club travels to Europe for a series of concerts in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
On Jan. 13, the group will do a show at Warren Performing Arts Center located on the campus of Warren Central High School in Indianapolis.
On Feb. 8, a show is slated for the Scottish Rite Building in downtown Indianapolis.
The club rehearses five days a week so it takes some time-management skills to balance a demanding college course work schedule.
"We put a lot of time into it," says Matt, a senior environmental science major, who sings second tenor. "Every week we have a one-hour practice during the middle of the day. You have a lot of things to do outside of Glee Club practice -- learning songs."
The Glee Club, with one or both of the Hanauer brothers as members, has had other notable recent performances on campus during a Garrison Keilor radio show; they've performed at the Super Bowl Village last February in Indiana, and they performed with the Cornell University Glee Club.
Matt said one of the highlights of his career has been doing a joint show with the Singing Hoosiers, from rival Indiana University.
Auditions to join the group are required and include singing before the Glee Club and Purduettes directors.
There is also an interview process to ensure that members are able to handle the club and academic course work, Sean explained in saying that the instruction and skills he learned during his elementary, junior high and high school days at Bloomfield readily prepared him for the challenge.
"You have to make sure you can think on your toes because we do a lot of mingling with viewers of the show as well as some pretty name people who come to the university, a bunch of donors, so they want to make sure we are prepared," Matt said.
There is no college credit offered for participation in this elite singing group, but that doesn't matter.
"We all love to do it, so it's very worth it," Matt said. "Everything we do has a lot to do with excellence and to be better than any student group before us has ever been. Before every show we kind of talk and get excited and we try to make it the best one we've ever done."
Sean agrees and said making music is enjoyable.
"Just making a whole lot of friends has been important to me. You don't really have to try to make friends if you are in the Glee Club because you already know a lot of guys. It's really nice coming from a small town to know like 60 guys around campus when going to a school that is bigger than Bloomfield."