Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Yale Whiffenpoofs turn 100!

I've been an a cappella singer for more years than I want to admit. Once in a while my personal and professional worlds come together (avocation meets vocation). Today's one of those occasions as I'm happy to promote and announce the upcoming Centennial of the Yale Whiffenpoofs---the singing group that launched the collegiate a cappella phenomenon.
Here's the news...

Press Release

Yale Whiffenpoofs turn 100!

America’s oldest A Cappella group to perform at historic Centennial concert-Jan 31, 2009

NEW HAVEN---January 31, 2009--2009 marks the 100th birthday of the Yale Whiffenpoofs-- the world’s oldest and most famous collegiate a cappella singing group (

The founding of the Whiffenpoofs began what has evolved into an American popular music phenomenon of over 1,500 student a cappella groups nationwide today.To celebrate their Centennial and the centennial of collegiate a cappella singing in America, the Whiffs plan a gala concert in New Haven on January 31, 2009: Century on a Spree!- The Whiffenpoofs Centennial. The evening will feature a performance by the Whiffenpoofs of 2009, with the comedic stylings of hosts John Hodgman (The Daily Show's "Resident Expert") & Jonathan Coulton ("The Colchester Kid"), additional songs from Whiff alumni over the past 70 years, and a film tribute to a great Yale tradition.

This “once a century” event commences at 8:00 PM on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 at Yale University's Woolsey Hall in New Haven, CT. Tickets: $40/Priority, $20/General Admission, $5/Kids 12 & under, $5/Yale Students. For more information or to buy tickets online, go to: or call 800-595-4849.

About The Whiffenpoofs
While students on other college campuses have “rushes” each year to get into fraternities and sororities, in New Haven—there’s a Yale Singing Group Rush to get into one of the university’s 15 singing groups. Every year, 14 men entering their senior year are selected to be in the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the school’s most exclusive a cappella group.

The “Whiffs” began as a senior quintet that met for concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the renowned Yale tavern that dates back to 1849. Cole Porter, Yale Class of 1913, highlights the list of noteworthy Whiffs, as well as U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, father of former Pres. George H.W. Bush.“The Whiffenpoof Song,” the group’s signature ballad, gained nationwide recognition when Rudy Vallee (Whiffs of 1927) recorded a solo version in the 1930s. The song would later become one of the popular tunes of World War II. Later on, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald (made an honorary Whiffenpoof in 1979), and Elvis Presley followed suit with their own recordings.Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated and hallowed traditions, and it looks forward to celebrating a full century of musical excellence and professional showmanship at Yale, across America, and around the world. In recent years, satisfied clients have included hotels, corporations, and the likes of Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, Mother Theresa, and the Dalai Lama, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Rose Bowl, and for events such as the World Series, Saturday Night Live, NBC’s Today Show and The West Wing. A cappella arrangements of jazz standards, classic ballads, traditional Yale songs, and recent popular hits continue to delight audiences all over the world.The Whiffenpoofs maintain a performance schedule of over 200 concerts annually, in addition to recording an album and embarking on a 17-week world tour. The Whiffenpoofs are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports a worldwide children’s literacy campaign and educates students about music and a cappella singing.

Whiffenpoofs Press Contact: Patrick Rafter,, 617-901-2697 mobile


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