What do Justin Bieber, Journey and Oscar Hammerstein have in common? They have all been translated into Latin by Samo teacher Luke Henderson; and soon, they will all be sung by Samo’s new Latin Glee Club. Sophomore Chelsea Brandwein is hoping to spark more of an interest in the “dead” language through the Glee Club, which held its first meeting March 21 under Henderson’s patronage.
“I originally brought the idea to Mr. Henderson last year — I guess you could say I was kind of inspired by the show ‘Glee,’ ” Brandwein said. “He was very excited about it.”
Brandwein plans to use the club to make music videos of popular songs entirely in Latin. It will be an extension of the Latin Club that has given students Samo Latin Media productions and the Latin summer program.
“All of the music videos will be in Latin. We are going to start with songs he has already translated,” Brandwein said. “I believe he wanted to kick it off with something by Justin Beiber, and already has an idea of students he wants to cast.”
The plan for the music videos is to make them accessible to anyone interested in the language.
“As usual, the Latin Club is creating fun ways of learning Latin that other programs can use,” Henderson said.
Henderson, who doubled as a music major in college, has translated over 60 songs into Latin, each of which he sings with his students in class. His use of music has always been a highlight of the course; however, students have started to notice its absence from the classroom lately, which has inspired many to join the Glee Club.
“We used to sing in class,” sophomore Matt Grifka said. “But we stopped recently, so I am looking forward to being able to do that again.”
The entertainment aspect of the club is a given, but it is not the goal of the club to put on a good show. Students, such as sophomore Katey Hobkirk, believe that the experience they will get from this club will benefit them as Latin speakers as well.
“I personally remember song lyrics better than anything else,” Hobkirk said. “While it will be very fun to get together with friends and sing, it will also help me to learn new vocabulary in a way that I probably won’t forget.”
The club is open to students of any age, and while it will primarily be for students learning Latin, anyone is welcome to join, especially those interested in music and film.
“It’s projects like this that continue to change the way people perceive the language,” Brandwein said. “We’re bringing Latin back!”
Latin Glee Club takes place every Monday at lunch in Henderson’s room, T201.