Yale University Whiffenpoofs harmonize in Beaver Creek on Jan. 7 | VailDaily.com

Yale University Whiffenpoofs harmonize in Beaver Creek on Jan. 7

The Whiffenpoofs were founded in 1909 at Yale University. Every fall, 14 Yale seniors are selected to join the a capella singing group and spend a full year performing.
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If you go ...

What: Whiffenpoofs performs, Yale University’s a capella singing group.

Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

When: Sunday, Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $48 for adults, $28 for children.

More information: Visit http://www.vilarpac.org.

BEAVER CREEK — The Whiffenpoofs, the longest-running men’s collegiate a capella singing group, are back by popular demand at the Vilar Performing Arts Center for a night of song on Sunday, Jan. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $48 for adults, $28 for children and are available at the Vilar Center box office, by calling 970-845-8497 or visiting http://www.vilarpac.org. The Vilar Center is located under the ice rink in Beaver Creek Village.

Boom in a capella

Founded in 1909 at Yale University, the Whiffenpoofs are the first and best-known men’s collegiate a capella group in existence.

Every fall, 14 Yale seniors are selected to join the Whiffenpoofs and spend a full year performing to crowds who can’t get enough of this long-standing and celebrated a capella singing group. Ian Billinge, manager for the group who also sings baritone, said in an interview that earning a spot in the Whiffenpoofs is “very competitive” but he loves the wide range of songs that they perform.

A Whiffenpoof concert always includes a mix of classical and choral numbers, as well as more contemporary songs and a few pop hits.

“Our most popular new addition is a jazzy re-harmonization of ‘Anything Goes,’ a song written by Whiffenpoof alumnus Cole Porter and arranged by Kenyon Duncan, our musical director,” Billinge said. “Kenyon has also arranged a really beautiful version of ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone.’ Audiences can expect to hear both in addition to Whiffenpoof classics — this year, we’ve focused a lot on the older side of the rep.”

The staying power and continued adoration for the Whiffenpoofs is due in part to their beautiful harmonies and song arrangements, as well as their ability to change with the times and embrace the tastes and styles of pop music today.

“The really cool thing about the recent boom in a capella is that the music coming out of it has a much bigger toolbox in terms of what arrangers are using,” Billinge said. “The Whiffenpoofs have stuck to a more traditional style of singing, but even we have changed a little.”

The Whiffenpoofs begin every concert with “The Whiffenpoof Song,” a tradition that began with the group’s founding in 1909 and continues to this day.

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