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The Whiffenpoofs Visit The Onions

Photo of The Whiffenpoofs Visit Seattle Academy 2020

The Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group from Yale University, visited Seattle Academy and the Jazz Choir I class on January 15. They were traveling through Seattle and performing at Benaroya Hall that night to anchor the Seattle A Cappella Festival. 

Established at Yale University in 1909, the Whiffenpoofs is comprised primarily of rising seniors who take a year of absence from Yale to tour the United States and internationally. They’ll perform at over 250 gigs to include country clubs, restaurants, and performance halls. They fund their travel and performances by raising money and ticket revenue. Yale University doesn’t provide any money; they are fully self-sufficient.

During a question and answer period with our students, the Whiffenpoofs shared their rehearsal schedule, starting their season with up to six hours a day, and then as they perform, rehearsing close to six hours a week. The talented ensemble of students has a wide variety of majors at Yale to include African American Studies, Architecture, Education Psychology, Ethics, Global Affairs, Math, Physics and more. 

While visiting with the Onions, the Whiffenpoofs performed a few songs for the class, including Old Devil Moon. The Onions performed a few songs for them including It Don’t Mean a Thing.  Together, the Whiffenpoofs and the Onions performed a rousing rendition of A Change in My Life led by current Seattle Academy faculty and alum, Nate Abbott ‘16, along with Karl Johnson ‘18 and Josh Jaffe ‘18.  

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