UNC Clef Hangers
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|UNC Clef Hangers|
Official UNC Clef Hangers logo
|Origin||Chapel Hill, NC|
|Genres||Collegiate a cappella|
The UNC Clef Hangers (also known as the Clefs) is the oldest a cappella group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sponsored by the UNC General Alumni Association, the group was founded by Tom Terrell, Manley Roberts, and Barry Saunders in 1977, and was originally called the Morrison Dorm Singers.
The first Clef Hangers concert was in the spring of 1979, and in 2013 the group celebrated its 35th anniversary; this was the first student group to ever perform in Carmichael Auditorium. In their first concert, the Clef Hangers adopted their iconic vests and bowties, which are now a signature look for the group. As with traditional a cappella, the Clef Hangers use no instruments when performing or recording albums.
Since their first tour to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1980, the Clefs have performed for audiences in Spain, France, Scotland, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York, and many other locations domestic and abroad. During a tour to New York City, they performed for the nation on the television show Good Morning America. In the spring of 2002, they were personally invited by Chancellor James Moeser to sing at Commencement, a tradition that has continued ever since. The Clef Hangers perform for a packed Memorial Hall every year during their fall and spring concerts, and sometimes feature special guests like Dean Smith and Roy Williams.
The group has released a number of professionally produced studio albums, many of which have had tracks featured on the Best of Collegiate A Cappella (BOCA) Compilation CDs. In 2004, the Clef Hangers received their first Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA) for Best Soloist in the song Easy, featured on the 2003 album Breeze. Since then, they have won two more CARAs for Best Male Collegiate Songs for My Love on Time Out, and for Ain't Nothing Wrong on Twist. The group has also garnered runner-up CARAs for Best Male Collegiate Arrangement (Africa from Safari) in 1991, Best Male Collegiate Album (Facing Clarence) in 2006, Best Male Collegiate Album (Time Out) in 2008, Best Male Collegiate Solo (Andrew Avent for Feelin Good) in 2008, and has been nominated for several other CARAs.
Before attending UNC, co-founder Barry Saunders had sung with the Traveling Men, an a cappella group at the Gilman School in Maryland. He wanted to have the same experience of musical fellowship at UNC, but there were no a cappella groups to join, so he decided to start one. With his Chi Psi fraternity brother, Manly Roberts, and other members including Tom Terrell, Mike Caudle, Steve Spencer, Reg Schloss, Bruce Dickerson, Staley Moore, and Ned Hooper, the group had their first rehearsal at St. Anthony's on Pittsboro Street in Chapel Hill.
The Clef Hangers were originally called the Morrison Dorm Singers, and it was not until 1978 that the name Clef Hangers was chosen. The name continues with the tradition of a cappella group pun names, and it is believed the name was chosen because the first two letters, C and H, correlate with Chapel Hill, the town where UNC Chapel Hill was founded.
The first Clef concert was in tiny Gerard Hall in April 1979, with a sparse audience of friends and family members who were there to support the effort. It was not until the early 1990s that the Clefs were able to put on a show in the completely sold out Memorial Hall.
The unequivocal vest and bowties are complete with buttons that cover the vests. The buttons tradition began when Tom Terrell put a button on his vest during the first public Clef Hangers performance in the Pit (a central gathering location at UNC Chapel Hill) in 1977.
The signature song for the Clef Hangers is Carolina in my Mind, written by James Taylor. This song is performed at every Clef concert—sometimes as an encore—and annually at the university Commencement. The a cappella version was arranged in 1991 by Clef alumnus Brannon Wiles. The Clef Hangers, joined by university chancellor at the time Holden Thorp, performed the song together in March 2009 at the first anniversary memorial service for murdered student president Eve Carson.
|The Mallard||2013||Thinkin Bout You chosen for Voices Only 2013, volume 1.||David Sperandio, Pablo Vega|
|House Rules||2011||Animal chosen for BOCA 2012, CARA nominations for Best Hip-Hop/R&B song, Best solo, and Best album, CARA runner-up for Best solo by Ryan White for "February Song".||David Sperandio|
|Carols from the Hill||2010||Clef Hangers Christmas Album||Andrew Simpson, David Sperandio|
|Twist||2009||Ain't Nothing Wrong receives CARA for Best Male Collegiate Song and chosen for Sing V, Ordinary World chosen for BOCA 2010, Album received perfect score by RARB, CARA Runner-up for best male collegiate album, song "Nude", and arrangement for "Boondocks".||David Sperandio|
|Time Out||2007||My Love receives CARA for Best Male Collegiate Song, She Has No Time and Don't Stop Believin' chosen for BOCA 2007 and 2008, Feeling Good and My Love chosen for Sing III and Sing IV, Album received perfect score by RARB ||David Sperandio|
|Facing Clarence||2005||The Way You Move chosen for BOCA 2005, Crazy Train chosen for BOCA 2006, Can You Stand the Rain chosen for Sing II||David Sperandio|
|Breeze||2003||Comedown chosen for BOCA 2003, Easy chosen for Sing 2003, CARA for Best Soloist, Jason Hamlin for Easy||David Sperandio|
|25||2003||25th anniversary compilation disk||Dr. DeMar Neal IV, R. Scott Morgan, David Sperandio|
|Elevation||2001||Father Figure chosen for BOCA 2002||David Sperandio|
|Five O'Clock Shadow||1997|
|No Ninths Allowed||1993|
|Safari||1992||Africa runner-up for CARA for Best Arrangement|
|Sounds of Carolina||1991|
- Hart at Our State celebration | Salisbury, NC - Salisbury Post
- UNC General Alumni Association :: Clef Hangers |
- The Daily Tar Heel :: Serving UNC students and the community since 1893
- The Daily Tar Heel :: Serving UNC students and the community since 1893
- Clef Hangers not a barbershop quartet : goTriad.com - Triad Arts and Entertainment
- The Shocking Twist & Our New Top 13! - Show and Alumni News - American Idol
- Shriver, Jerry (2009-05-26). "Voices carry a burgeoning trend". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- The UNC Clef Hangers :: History
- CARA Winners 2008 | A Cappella Music - The Contemporary A Cappella Society
- 2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Winners | A Cappella Music - The Contemporary A Cappella Society
- RARB Review of Clef Hangers - Facing Clarence
- "Ceremony marks anniversary of Eve Carson's death". USA Today. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Eve Carson Remembrance". University Gazette. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- RARB Review of Clef Hangers - Breeze
- http://www.philly.com/community/pa/philadelphia/netimes/52541177.html[dead link]
- Menconi, David (2007-09-21). "James' record still to come". The News & Observer.
- The UNC Clef Hangers :: Albums
- A Cappella Groups - Clients | diovoce.net
- BOCA 2010: Best Of College A Cappella Announced! | A Cappella Music - The Contemporary A Cappella Society
- RARB Review of Clef Hangers - Twist
- 2010 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Winners | A Cappella Music - The Contemporary A Cappella Society
- BOCA CDs - BOCA 2007: Best of College A Cappella '07 (CD)
- http://www.a-cappella.com/product/BOCA_2008_Best_of_College_A_Cappella_2008_CD/boca-best_of_college_a_cappella[dead link]
- RARB Review of Clef Hangers - Time Out
- BOCA CDs - BOCA 2005: Best of College A Cappella '05 (CD)
- BOCA CDs - BOCA 2003: Best College A Cappella '03
- http://www.a-cappella.com/product/1806C/boca-best_of_college_a_cappella[dead link]
- Clef Hangers Official Site
- Varsity Vocals, produce yearly Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) CDs.
- The Contemporary A Cappella Society (of America), a repository of resources regarding contemporary a cappella. Deke Sharon, founder of CASA, has co-produced every Best of College A Cappella (BOCA) CD since 1995.