Redhot & Blue (musical group)

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For other uses of "Red hot", see Red hot (disambiguation).
Redhot & Blue
Redhot & Blue (Yale a cappella) logo.gif
Background information
Origin Yale University
Genres A cappella
Years active 1977–present

Redhot & Blue, usually called Redhot, is Yale University's oldest coeducational a cappella group. Founded in 1977, the group has released 12 albums and toured the United States and world. The group’s repertoire is based in the jazz genre, but has expanded to include an array of musical styles. Redhot is a member of the Singing Group Council of Yale.[1]


Most members join the group through the a cappella rush process at Yale University. The process starts when freshmen arrive onto the Yale campus in the Fall, and ends a few weeks later with one of the university's most well-known traditions, tap night. This is not to be confused with Yale's secret society tap night, which is generally held during the end of the Spring semester. The rush process is governed by the Singing Group Council of Yale.[1]


Rush begins officially when freshmen arrive on campus, but the first major event in the process is the Woolsey Hall Jamboree.[2] Each of the fifteen groups sings two songs at this concert; the Dwight Hall Jamboree, a similarly-structured concert, occurs the Friday after the one at Woolsey Hall. At this second jam, potential members of Redhot & Blue sign up to audition. The group listens to auditions during the following Saturday and Sunday, and then there are three weeks of interaction between the group and hopefuls, resulting in callbacks for those the group wants to hear a second time. Redhot & Blue Tap night is the week after callbacks, on a date not released by the Singing Group Council until the day it begins at midnight.


Redhot & Blue on the beaches of Santa Barbara, California

Each year, the group takes three tours, of which at least one is international.[3] Past tour destinations include Greece, London, Paris, Prague, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Washington D.C., New York City and Dallas. The most recent tours include San Francisco, the East Coast, Japan, Santa Barbara, Kansas and Nebraska, London, and Paris. This coming year, the group will visit Houston, Denmark, and England. The group pays for tours by singing concerts throughout the year and while on tour.

On the recent tour to Paris, France, Redhot performed for the U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO.[4] The event was described on the diplomatic mission's website as "a swinging soiree, with music by Yale's award winning a cappella group, Redhot & Blue." The group performed old favorites, such as George Gershwin's “Summertime,” and new arrangements like “Georgia on my Mind.”


Each year, the musical director of the group chooses the active repertoire from the hundreds of songs in the group's archive. The repertoire spans a variety of genres, from jazz standards to Motown, folk music, and classic rock.[5] The group has historically added an average of between four and five arrangements per year during its more-than-thirty years of existence; thus, each musical director has more songs from which to choose than his or her predecessor. The group allows any group member to submit arrangements, though most who do so are well-versed in composition of vocal music. At any time, there are between thirty and forty songs in the active repertoire.[6]

Albums and awards[edit]

The group has released twelve official albums and various live recordings, both video and audio. Studio recordings by the group have been critically acclaimed, winning various awards and being included in compilations including the Best of Collegiate A Cappella (BOCA) series.[7] Redhot's 1992 album, "Shut Up and Sing" swept all the categories of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARAs)[8] for which it was eligible: Best Mixed Collegiate Arrangement, Best Mixed Collegiate Soloist, Best Mixed Collegiate Song, and Best Mixed Collegiate Album.[9] CARA also awarded alumna Lisa Bielawa[10] runner up for the 1995 best female vocalist.[11] The song When You Are Old, composed for the group by John Kelley '86 based on a poem by William Butler Yeats, won the 1997 Young Composers Competition from G. Schirmer.[12] The group was also featured on "A Cappella Party: Best of the Ivy League Singing Groups,"[13] with 2 tracks out of 17 devoted to Redhot on this 1996 release. For a full discography, visit the Redhot & Blue website.[14] Redhot's most recent album, riot, released in 2009, received a positive review from Mouth Off, a weekly podcast and blog about a cappella music.[15]


Redhot was founded in 1977 by Shelley Lotter and Leslie Lipton, both in the graduating class of 1979. At the time, there were at least five all-male a cappella groups and one all-female. The repertoire was largely based on arrangements done by David H. Bass.[16] Opening Night, the group's first album, was released in 1979.


The group's name is derived from the musical Red, Hot and Blue (1936), written by Yale alumnus Cole Porter, class of 1913. The group name combines Redhot into one word and uses an ampersand, unlike the show. Porter's work is featured often in Redhot's repertoire, from Antoinette Birby, written while he was in college, to more popular songs like "It's De-Lovely", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Night And Day", and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye".[17] The group's name is often shortened to Redhot, although it has also been called RHB and RH&B.


  1. ^ a b Learn more about a cappella at Yale on the Singing Group Council Official Website
  2. ^ The first Rush events, including Woolsey Jam, are explained on the Singing Group Council Official Website
  3. ^ See the Redhot tours page for more information
  4. ^ Check out Ambassador Killion's remarks and a video compiled about the event, featuring Redhot & Blue
  5. ^ Association of Yale Alumni Redhot & Blue Profile Archived June 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ To see a listing of active repertoire, look at the repertoire page.
  7. ^ "BOCA 2 track listing, number 3.". Archived from the original on April 11, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards.
  9. ^ Leigh, David. "Find more information on Redhot's awards here". Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ For more on Lisa, see her homepage.
  11. ^ the 1995 CARA page.
  12. ^ See for a description of the piece.
  13. ^ Find the album online here:
  14. ^ "Redhot & Blue Albums". Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Mouth Off: riot Album Review". July 5, 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  16. ^ "North Cambridge Family Opera Company: Who we Are". Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  17. ^ See the repertoire page of Redhot & Blue of Yale.

External links[edit]