On a brisk autumn night in 1943, our founding fathers climbed to the top of Saybrook Tower and serenaded campus with our traditional opening number, “Sally in Our Alley.” Since then, as Yale’s classiest a cappella group, the Cats have created over 300 original arrangements ranging from jazz standards to motown, from timeless oldies to contemporary chart-toppers. We have released several dozen albums, held seventy-four annual Champagne Jamborees, and performed for public figures such as President Obama, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Martha Stewart, and Jay Leno. In true Cat fashion, as the first Yale a cappella group to tour internationally, we continue to bring our unique brand of refined all-male sound, stylistic expertise, and witty charm to destinations around the world. In our seventy-fifth season, with tours to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, and the Netherlands in the works for this year, it has truly never been a better time to be a member of the Alley Cat family. Join this storied tradition, and share with us an incredible experience of history, unforgettable friendship, travel, and, in the words of Aretha Franklin, “Mm-mmm delicious” music! And remember: like those who came before you have learned, once a Cat, always a Cat.
The Baker’s Dozen of Yale University, founded in 1947 and comprised of sixteen male undergraduates, commands a broad repertoire of songs, ranging from traditional ballads to jazz, rock, and contemporary hits. The boundless energy and entertaining camaraderie of the “BDs” resonate with audiences in virtually any setting. Highlights from the most recent Baker’s Dozen albums include original arrangements of songs by Stevie Wonder, Jack Johnson, Gavin DeGraw, and The Temptations. Although the group has grown in accomplishments and notoriety since its inception, the BDs continue to cherish the group’s founding principles and traditions. From the simple pleasures of time spent at the BD House to the spectacular thrills of life on tour, becoming a member of the Baker’s Dozen promises unforgettable experiences and lifelong friendships. The Baker’s Dozen experience is grounded in long-standing tradition that extends far beyond singing, with a passion for music and friendship that is as strong today as it was in 1947.
Doox of Yale– [All-Gender][TTBB]
No one’s quite sure how it happened. Some say that Basil “Duke” Henning, then “master” of Saybrook College, stole an arrangement the Whiffenpoofs; others say he commissioned a friend to compose the piece for his new group and it was the Whiffs who stole it later. Whichever story you believe, Basil Duke Henning taught a song to four of his eager students way back in 1952 and thus the Doox of Yale (formerly known as the Duke’s Men) were born. Since then, “da doox” have grown to nearly 400 members and sung around the world, traveling from Tokyo to Medellín to Athens and Jerusalem, and to our hometowns worldwide. Keeping with our goals to create music that reflects our community and in effort to create space in the a cappella community for trans and non-binary folks, we now invite all singers, regardless of sex or gender identity, to join us in the years ahead as an all-gender TTBB group. Join us as we push the boundaries of live and recorded music, and stick around for the passionate spirit, eclectic repertoire, and unforgettable experiences that define the Doox of Yale!
Founded in 1979 by several inspired Whiffenpoofs, Living Water is Yale’s one and only Christian a cappella group. Today, Living Water’s repertoire brings together alternative rock, hymns, indie, and gospel in a number of languages—including English, Italian and Spanish—to bring audiences a powerful and passionate performance. Through music, we hope to touch the heart of God, as well as the hearts of His people, by communicating His love and His glory in worship. During annual tours to at least one of our members’ hometowns, we seek to serve the communities of our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as to appreciate the communities that have shaped who they are today. The deep friendships formed in Living Water spur every member towards musical, emotional, and spiritual growth. We can’t wait to welcome our newest tap class!
Founded originally in 1981 as both an a cappella and sketch comedy group, Mixed Company has long been considered one of the most eclectic groups on campus. This comes as no surprise since our first arrangement was called “Taco Bell Canon.” Yes, you read that right. Although Mixed Co is no longer a comedy group, and that song has long left our repertoire, our funky and creative core is still alive today. The group focuses on modern musical styles like pop, funk, classic rock, R&B, jazz, and musical theater. Mixed Co prides itself on musicianship, unique and powerful soloists, a fun group dynamic, and the ancient cursed diamond scepter that we own but are too afraid to use after what happened last time. In addition to recording an album every two years, the group regularly tours internationally and domestically. Our recent tour locations include China, Brazil, New Zealand, Colombia, Canada, Bermuda, California, and Washington. We are so excited to meet the newest members of Mixed Co and can’t wait to sing with them!
In the fall of 1969, a group of new Yalies set out to revolutionize a cappella music. They brought a new and powerful tool to the table: the female voice. These eleven pioneering women founded The New Blue, Yale’s first women’s a cappella group and oldest women’s organization of any kind. Today, The New Blue is still defined by its strong sisterhood and innovative musical spirit, with a dynamic repertoire including everything from current pop and classic rock to folk and jazz standards. A deep alto bassline, soaring soprano descants, intricate harmonies, and an entirely self-arranged rep make New Blue’s sound especially distinctive. The group regularly embarks on both domestic and international tours (this year we’re heading to Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh and Cleveland!) and records a new album every other year (check out our most recent album, Exit Four, on Spotify). Whether we’re belting Adele, beat-boxing to Andra Day, or dancing to Taylor Swift for elementary school students or President Barack Obama, The New Blue of Yale always has a great time!
Out of the Blue is Yale University’s all-gender, award-winning contemporary a cappella group. Founded in 1986 by students determined to create a new brand of Yale a cappella, Out of the Blue (OOTB, pronounced OOT-bah) is known for its high energy arrangements, powerful soloists, and electric performance style. The group entertains global audiences of all ages with a powerful and dynamic repertoire that spans a variety of genres, including current and classic pop, rock, folk, dubstep, and alternative.
Whether they’re touring countries around the world, winning titles at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs), or watching a movie together in a college basement, OOTB is a family of musicians that loves spending time together on- and off-stage. This year, OOTB looks forward to traveling to Boston and San Francisco, producing an album of entirely member-arranged songs, and, most of all, welcoming this year’s tap class!
In an age long past, the founding members of Pitches & Tones braved the icy peaks of the Himalayas in a fateful search for the Spirit of Music. Arduously they quested, braving the elements and countless powerful foes, until finally they met the fabled Man of the Mountains who, holding up a mirror to illustrate the gag, revealed to them that the Spirit of Music had been inside them all along. It was then that Pitches & Tones invented a cappella. Tragically, the only existing musical genre at the time was Baroque, so the founders were forced to make a solemn decision. They traveled hundreds of years into the future to 2011, which is nominally the year of Pitches’ founding in the same way that the nominal interest rate ignores key information about inflation: it is a meaningless metric.
Today, Pitches & Tones, the newest member of the SGC, performs entirely member-arranged songs covering a variety of genres, including Pop, Rock, R&B, Traditional, Jazz, and more. Just not the Dave Matthews Band. Never him. So help us carry on a tradition that has persisted since time immemorial and come join the Pitches family! We can’t wait to sing with you for the next four years until the day finally comes that you strike us down and take our place. For only then will the cycle be complete.
Just six years after women were first admitted to Yale, our founders decided to shake up the school’s still male-dominated a cappella scene by forming a new women’s group, Proof of the Pudding. We continue to embody the passion and spirit of the ladies of ‘75 and open and close each concert with traditional songs to pay homage to our roots as we move towards a modern repertoire with a jazzy twist. We’re constantly arranging new music to expand our repertoire, which now includes songs like Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time,” and “Another Day of Sun,” from the movie La La Land. No matter the song, Proof has a timeless sound and energetic style that have taken us places such as China, India, and the United Kingdom. This year, we’ll be traveling north to Montreal, and then heading south to Washington DC. In addition, we look forward to doing some great gigs and recording our next album in the spring of 2019. But most importantly, Proof is known for our strong sense of sisterhood and we can’t wait to welcome next year’s tap class!
Redhot & Blue is Yale’s oldest all-gender a cappella group, born out of two talented women and a group of former Whiffenpoofs who brought the richness of SATB sound to campus for the very first time. Hailed by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) as “one of the nation’s most consistently excellent mixed collegiate a cappella groups,” Redhot continues to break down the boundaries of a cappella music with sensational arrangements, from jazz classics to folk and R&B. We perform our diverse repertoire around the globe, singing and sightseeing three times a year in places ranging from Puerto Rico to Seattle to China. Redhot is so special not just because of our complex sound and musicality, but also because of the lifelong friendships forged in rehearsals, on plane rides across the world, and over countless late-night picnics. To our newest tap class of Redhotties – we can’t wait to meet you!
Shades – [All-Gender][SATB]
Shades is a co-educational a cappella group founded to celebrate music of the African Diaspora. It is our objective to offer a unique, musically excellent, and spiritually enriching performance experience at Yale University and beyond. Drawing from the diverse backgrounds of our members and the oral traditions of blacks in America, we strive to authentically portray the true depth and complexity of the black experience. In addition to mastering our style of music, we develop an appreciation of its history and roots in order to educate audiences about our music’s lineage.
We acknowledge and accept that we are endowed with both the responsibility and the privilege of giving a voice to the voiceless, and we aim to do so through the richness of our repertoire with its power to inspire and unite us and our audiences.
On All Hallows’ Eve in 1938, twelve of the sweetest voices at Yale converged on Mory’s Temple Bar to form an a capella group unlike any other, invoking the talents of Orpheus, minstrel to Olympus, and the legacy of Bacchus, god of revelry. Since that fateful night, the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus has seamlessly fused the ancient traditions of music and revelry with the hip attitude of every rock band that has ever made thousands of teenage girls scream for an encore. The SOBs boast 75 years’ worth of arrangements—from traditional Yale songs to jazz and blues standards, from original compositions to straight-up rock and roll. Whether in an English manor, at the beach in Puerto Rico, or on campus at our annual Bacchanal and Jamboree, every SOB performance is memorable and unique. After an incredible 75th anniversary year, we SOBs are thrilled to begin rush and tap the newest class of neophytes into our distinguished society.
Something Extra is Yale’s premier all-women a cappella group. Affectionately known as “SE” by both members and campus at-large, Something Extra was founded in 1977 and carries on over 40 years worth of musical excellence. Today, SE’s repertoire is exclusively self-arranged and comprised of a diverse mix of pop, jazz, indie, alternative rock, and classic oldie throwbacks – as can be heard on Something Extra’s newest album to be released by the end of 2018! The group tours throughout North America regularly, but has also made appearances in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, and most recently returned from London, Florence, and Rome. Known for its powerful soloists, tight harmonies, and statement red gloves, Something Extra is proud to maintain its dedication to exceptional music and constant innovation, and lasting sisterhood.
Founded way back in 1914, The Spizzwinks(?) are the world’s oldest underclassman a cappella group. Over the years, their repertoire has grown to include an eclectic range of songs—everything from Sinatra to Ed Sheeran, The Beatles to Bruno Mars. No performance is complete, however, without their signature brand of tongue-in-cheek humor. The ‘Winks travel around the world as part of the Spizzwink(?) Promise, a unique opportunity to visit all six inhabited continents and sing in one’s hometown. Their latest album, aptly titled “Hometown”, captures the importance of this promise with a set of entirely new arrangements, always written by members of the group. The Spizzwinks(?) are excited to welcome new members to this experience, a lifelong community of talented musicians and best friends.
Every year, fourteen senior Yale men are selected to be the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and most famous a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quintet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the renowned Yale tavern and club. Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated and hallowed traditions, carrying on almost a century of musical excellence and professional showmanship at Yale, across America, and around the world. Each Whiffenpoof group maintains a busy performance schedule throughout the year, records an album, and circles the globe on a six-continent world tour. Audiences have included such notable figures as Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush, the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and fans at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Rose Bowl, the World Series, Saturday Night Live, Gilmore Girls, and The West Wing.
In 1981, seven Yale women came together to create what had long been absent from Yale’s a cappella tradition: a senior women’s singing group. Today, Whim ‘n Rhythm has achieved world renown and culminates each year with an international tour, annually frequenting Japan, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Thailand and much more. Delighting audiences from Maine to Hong Kong, from Club Med to the White House, the 14 women of Whim ‘n Rhythm bring professional musicianship, a strong spirit, and an elegant presence to every performance. From upbeat jazz standards and classic show tunes to contemporary pop favorites and traditional ballads, Whim’s diverse repertoire appeals to a wide variety of musical tastes. Come hear Whim ‘n Rhythm at Mory’s Temple Bar every other Wednesday!