The Yale Alley Cats

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The Yale Alley Cats
Alley Cats 2013-2014.jpg
Yale Alley Cats of 2013-2014
Background information
Years active 1943 – present
Website YaleAlleyCats.com
Members Tenor I
Zach Blickensderfer '16
Zack Elkind '17
Laurence Bashford '18
Tenor II
Ari Kagan '16
Xinyuan Chen '17
Griffin Black '18
Eli Daiute '18
Baritone
Yan-Yang Feng '16
Thomas Forster '17
Nicholas Biniaz-Harris '18
Erifer Fernandez '18
Bass
Sei Han '16
Adam Lohman '18
AJ Ding '18

Yan-Yang Feng, pitchpipe
Ari Kagan, business manager

The Yale Alley Cats are an all male, undergraduate a cappella singing group at Yale University. The Alley Cats were founded in 1943, making them the third oldest underclassman a cappella group at Yale.[1] The group’s early repertoire was based in jazz, and its current arrangements cover Motown, pop music, folk music, and other music genres. Each year, the Cats go on three tours, many of them international, performing for public and private audiences.[2]

Music[edit]

All of the group's music are arrangements written by current and past members.[3] Their performances have entertained audiences world-wide, including Martha Stewart and President Barack Obama.[3][4] The Alley Cats' first album on the Bridge Records, Inc. label [2] also made it onto the 52nd Grammy Awards entry list for Best Pop Vocal Album.[5]

Recent tours[6][edit]

Every year, the group travels to numerous destinations during their winter, spring, and summer breaks. Recent tours include:

Date Destination
Summer 2014
  • Sweden
    • Stockholm
  • Belgium
    • Brussels
  • Switzerland
    • Basel
  • Germany
    • Wartin
    • Berlin
  • England
    • London
  • Turkey
    • Istanbul
Spring 2014
  • California
    • Los Angeles
    • Palos Verdes
  • China
    • Beijing
Winter 2014
  • Louisiana
    • New Orleans
  • Georgia
    • Atlanta
  • Florida
    • Jacksonville
    • Palm Beach
    • Orlando
    • Sarasota
    • Naples
Summer 2013
  • Washington
    • Bellingham
    • Sammamish
    • Seattle
  • South Korea
    • Seoul
Spring 2013
  • Switzerland
    • Basel
    • Bern
    • Leysin
    • Lugano
    • Montreaux
    • Ollon
  • Belgium
    • Brussels
  • Germany
    • Berlin
    • Düsseldorf
    • Stuttgart
Winter 2013
  • Texas
    • Dallas
    • Austin
    • San Antonio
Summer 2012
  • Germany
    • Berlin
    • Wartin
    • Stuttgart
    • Nuremberg
  • Belgium
    • Brussels
  • France
    • Paris
    • Le Mans
  • Czech Republic
    • Prague
  • Finland
    • Lappeenranta
    • Helsinki
  • Estonia
    • Tallinn
    • Vihula
    • Narva
    • Parnu
  • Latvia
    • Riga
  • Lithuania
    • Vilnius
    • Kaunas
  • Poland
    • Warsaw
    • Poznan
Spring 2012
  • Hawaii
  • St. Louis, Missouri
Winter 2012
  • Washington, D.C.
Summer 2011
  • The Pacific
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Victoria, Canada
    • Hawaii
    • Guam
    • Tokyo, Japan
    • Fukuoka, Japan
    • Seoul, South Korea
Spring 2011
  • Europe
    • Switzerland
    • Milan, Italy
Winter 2011
  • Vail, Colorado
Summer 2010
  • Scandinavia and Northern Europe
    • Stockholm, Uppsala, & Gothenburg; Sweden
    • Bergen & Stavanger, Norway
    • Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Amsterdam & The Hague, The Netherlands
    • Paris, France
    • The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    • Saarlouis, Hamburg, Berlin, Casekow, & Dresden; Germany
    • Wrocłav, Poland
Spring 2010
  • Japan
    • Tokyo
    • Himeji
    • Hiroshima
    • Osaka
    • Kobe
Winter 2010
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Notable alumni[edit]

Some Alley Cats go on to join The Yale Whiffenpoofs, a selective, all-senior, all-male a cappella group,[7] and some have gone on to careers in the performance industry, including:

  • Andy Sandberg '06, Producer, director, and actor, best known as the producer of the Broadway (2009) and West End (2010) revivals of the musical Hair.[8]
  • George R. Steel '94, General Manager and Artistic Director of the New York City Opera. Former General Director of the Dallas Opera.[11][12]
  • Allen Murabayashi '94, Founding employee and Senior Vice President of Engineering at HotJobs.com (now Yahoo! HotJobs).[13][14]
  • Manoel Felciano '92, Tony Award-nominated Actor of Sweeney Todd (Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, 2006).[15][16]
  • David J. Tang '89, Artistic and acting Executive Director of Firebird Arts Alliance.[17]
  • John Gibert, Ph.D., '82, Professor of Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Jeffrey Klitz '81, Conductor, Musician, Arranger for Broadway and other theatrical endeavors.[18][19]

Founding[edit]

In the summer of 1943, four Yale undergraduate students climbed Saybrook Tower to sing Henry Carey's "Sally in Our Alley" into the night. Their singing awoke the College Master who quickly yelled at them to "stop it! Your singing sounds like a bunch of screeching alley cats!" The Master then quieted the young gentlemen and sent them to bed, but the performance marked the group's founding and taking the name, "The Yale Alley Cats." [2]

Rush[edit]

Each year, freshmen audition in a multi-week process known as "Rush." [20] In the tradition of many Yale a cappella groups, the current Alley Cats “tap” freshmen to sing with the group for three years.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Yale Alley Cats
  2. ^ a b c The Yale Alley Cats release their first studio album under the Bridge Records label.
  3. ^ a b The Yale Alley Cats history
  4. ^ The Yale Alley Cats on "Martha Stewart's Home for the Holidays."
  5. ^ 52nd Grammy Awards entry list, Field 1, Category 11: Best Pop Vocal Album. Note: The original list at Grammy.com has been removed. A true and accurate copy is found at the current-referenced URL.
  6. ^ Yale Alley Cats Tours
  7. ^ "An Irrepressible Urge to Join - Musical Groups", The Yale Alumni Magazine, January 2003.
  8. ^ Andy Sandberg. BroadwayWorld.com, accessed May 9, 2011
  9. ^ Dave Lieberman at The Food Network
  10. ^ Joe Farrell on IMDB
  11. ^ George R. Steel at NYC Opera
  12. ^ George R. Steel at Dallas Opera
  13. ^ "Interview with Allen Murabayashi, Founder of Photoshelter.com", About the Image, 21 December 2005
  14. ^ Photographer Portfolio: "Allen Murabayashi | Eddie Adams Workshop"
  15. ^ Manoel Felciano on IMDB
  16. ^ Manoel Felciano on IBDB
  17. ^ David J. Tang at the Firebird Arts Alliance
  18. ^ Jeffrey Klitz on IBDB
  19. ^ Jeffrey Klitz on Playbill.com's Who's Who
  20. ^ Yale Singing Group Council: "What is "rush?""
  21. ^ Yale Daily News: "A cappella taps newest members", The Yale Daily News, New Haven, 24 September 2009.
  22. ^ "Yale's A Cappella Rush", National Public Radio, 26 September 2002.

External links[edit]