The Harvard Krokodiloes

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The Harvard Krokodiloes are Harvard University's oldest a cappella singing group, founded in 1946. Four members of the Hasty Pudding Club at 12 Holyoke Street, popular for its all-male, burlesque musical theatre productions, began singing popular hits of their time in four-part harmony. The Krokodiloes, deriving their name from the ancient Greek word for crocodile, krokodilos, now consists of twelve tuxedo-clad undergraduates who sing songs from the Great American Songbook and beyond.[1]

The Krokodiloes have performed around the world for such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Caroline of Monaco, the Aga Khan, and King Bhumibol of Thailand. They had a particularly close relationship with Leonard Bernstein, who became friends with the group first in 1973, when he composed a setting to an E. E. Cummings poem "if you can't eat." In 1983 Bernstein wrote an original song for the group, "Screwed On Wrong," and provided an introductory letter that helped launch the group's first of a continuing string of annual international summer tours.[2]

The group has performed on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, and on numerous international national television programs.[3]

Each year, the Krokodiloes continue to travel around the world on an eleven-week, six-continent tour. They have recorded 31 albums.

Some of the group’s notable accomplishments include the following:

  • Performing at the Inaugural Ball celebrating the inauguration of US President Bill Clinton.
  • Performing at the June 30, 1997 Hong Kong handover ceremonies commemorating the return of Hong Kong province to China.
  • Appearing four times at Carnegie Hall, debuting there to a sold-out audience in 1989 at a concert to benefit world hunger, in the spring of 1995 in an American Red Cross benefit, in May 1998 in a concert for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and most recently at Zankel Hall in March 2008.[4]

The group's motto is Nunc Est Cantandum, or “Now is the time to sing.”[3]

In the episode entitled "The Breakup" for the show, 30 Rock, the character Toofer, a Harvard graduate, says that he was in the Kroks and had a solo on "Like a Prayer." In actuality, the Krokodiloes do not perform "Like a Prayer" or any other modern pop or rock songs, unlike many college a cappella groups; their repertoire largely consists songs from the Great American Songbook and other jazz or swing standards.

Notable alumni[edit]

Krokodiloes alumni are listed on the group's website.[5]


  1. ^ About the Harvard Krokodiloes.
  2. ^ Ireland, Corydon. "Three-day extravaganza fetes Bernstein." Harvard University Gazette, 2006-10-19.
  3. ^ a b History of the Harvard Krokodiloes, from the group’s website.
  4. ^ Notice of 2008 Carnegie Hall performance.
  5. ^ Notable Alumni of the Harvard Krokodiloes. Retrieved on 2008-02-03.
  6. ^ George Howe Colt, 2003 National Book Award Finalist: Nonfiction, The National Book Foundation. Accessed online 17 November 2008.
  7. ^ (2008). Exclusive: Gregory Craig to be White House counsel. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  8. ^ History News Network Interview. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  9. ^ Leo Kiely, MillerCoors Company bio. Accessed online 17 November 2008.

External links[edit]