Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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  • March 6, 1808 – Students establish the Pierian Sodality, forerunner of today’s Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. 
  • March 18, 1858 – In a room over a grocery store at the corner of Holyoke and Harvard streets, five students from the Class of 1858 and five other College friends form the Harvard Glee Club. (For several months beforehand, the first five had met to sing indoors and serenade around Cambridge and Boston.) Although informal singing groups had sprung up at Harvard since the early 19th century, the Glee Club is considered the College’s first formally organized vocal ensemble. 
  • March 4, 1863 – At the inauguration of President Thomas Hill, a new anthem – Domine salvum fac Præsidem nostrum (God Save Our President), composed for the occasion by University Organist and Choirmaster John Knowles Paine – receives its first public performance. The anthem is now a regular feature of morning Commencement Exercises. – From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower