The Brown Derbies

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The Brown Derbies
The Brown Derbies of Brown University Logo.jpg
The Brown Derbies' Logo
Background information
Also known as The Derbies
Origin Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Genres Collegiate a cappella
Years active 1982–present
Labels Collegiate
Website Official Site
Members Ryan Joudeh '16 M'17
Rohan Chandra '17
Ray Holden '17
Oliver Hu '18
Ricardo Jaramillo '18
Keegan Quigley '18
Pratul Tandon '18
Justin Chen '19
Kevin Cowles '19
Corey Morrison '19
Iladro Sauls '19
Will Hackett '20
Nathaniel Nguyen '20
Vinu Raman '20
John Rush '20
Daniel Traver '20

The Brown Derbies is an all-male a cappella group at Brown University.[1][2] They were founded by Darryl Shrock in 1982 and have released twelve albums. They sing a variety of different genres, ranging from Rock, to Barbershop, to R&B and are known in the a cappella community for their unique use of syllables in the background vocals.[3] They have toured all around the United States and the globe, and even sang at the White House for President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1997. In November 2007, they were featured on the CBS Early Show on a segment about the rising popularity of a cappella groups on college campuses, and in July 2011 they were featured on the Gospel Music Channel reality show America Sings.[4] In January 2012, they performed in the London A Cappella Festival.[5] They are known for building humor and choreography into many of their live performances. An annual tradition is performing with the Chattertocks in their annual concert, "Smoked Salomon," which occurs every September in Salomon Hall on the Brown University campus. Their sister a cappella group is the Smith Smiffenpoofs.


The Derbies' fourth album, "Down Time," was first runner-up for Best Male Collegiate Album in the 1995 CARAs.[6] Their next album, "Nightcap," swept the CARAs, winning Best Male Collegiate Album (though tied with the Middlebury Dissipated Eight's "Eighps"), Best Male Collegiate Song ("In the House of Stone & Light"), Best Male Collegiate Arrangement ("Who Are You?" arr. Evan Schiff), and Best Male Collegiate Soloist (Joel Begleiter on "The Downeaster Alexa").[7][8] The Derbies kept their streak alive on their next album, "Jericho," which also placed in all four categories of the 2000 CARAs. They tied in the category of Best Male Collegiate Album again, this time with the Tufts Beelzebubs' "Infinity." They won Best Male Collegiate Song ("I Wanna Be Like You") and Best Male Collegiate Arrangement (Raj Patil) and received first runner-up for Best Male Collegiate Soloist (Marcos Santiago, who was competing in the five-person category with fellow Derby Keith Getchell).[9][10]

The Derbies have also been recognized formally for their live performances by the ICCA. In 1996, they were first runner-up in the New England Region in the Semifinals and also got runner-up for Best Arrangement ("Who Are You?" arr. Evan Schiff). The same piece won Best Arrangement at the Quarterfinals the same year. In 1997, they were crowned champions of the Northeast region at the ICCA Semifinals, where they also won Best Solo (Adam Arian, "Who Are You?"). They received the award for Best Arrangement ("In the House of Stone & Light," Raj Patil) earlier in the tournament at the Quarterfinals.[11] In 2013, the group competed in the ICCA for the first time in over a decade, advancing to the semifinals.

The Brown Derbies have appeared on several collegiate a cappella compilation albums. "In Your Eyes," from the Derby album "Down Time," was featured on the Best of College A Cappella: Volume 1.[12] "In the House of Stone & Light" was selected for the BOCA '97-'98 album and "Telephone Message" (Mentos Edition) made it on to "BOCA Humor: Wasting Our Parents' Money."[13][14]


  • Derby Laundry 1986
  • Talk Derby to Me 1991
  • Hat Trick 1993
  • Down Time 1994
  • Nightcap 1997
  • Jericho 1999
    • "This album ought to be required listening for any college group planning to record." - RARB Review[15]
  • Hybrid 2002
    • "These guys are supremely musical — a real treat on a rock-intensive album." - RARB Review[16]
  • Recap 2004
  • We Deliver 2007
  • Ridin' Derby 2008
  • Nice Guys, Better Guests 2011
  • Derbyhaus 2014

Notable alumni[edit]