The Brown Derbies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Brown Derbies
The Brown Derbies of Brown University Logo.jpg
The Brown Derbies' Logo
Background information
Also known asThe Derbies
OriginBrown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
GenresCollegiate a cappella
Years active1982–present
WebsiteOfficial Site
MembersJustin Chen '19
Kevin Cowles '19
Corey Morrison '19
Iladro Sauls '19
Will Hackett '20
Leo Ko '20
Nathaniel Nguyen '20
Vinu Raman '20
John Rush '20
Daniel Traver '20
JD Calvelli '21
Amit Chakrabarti '21
Ved Narayan '21
Aakash Setty '21
Andrew Alper '22
Cole Exline ‘22
Ben Michals ‘22

The Brown Derbies is an a cappella group at Brown University.[1][2] They were founded by Darryl Shrock in 1982 and have released thirteen albums. They sing a variety of different genres, ranging from Rock, to Pop, 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 throughout the United States and internationally, with recent performances in Beijing, China, Shanghai, China, and New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1997 the group performed for President Bill Clinton at the White House. In November 2007, they were featured on the CBS Early Show in 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]

The Derbies are known for incorporating 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)
  • Unaccounted For (2017)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "The Academical Village People". Washington Post. 19 March 2004. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  2. ^ "DERBY DAY IN FORT LAUDERDALE". Miami Herald. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  3. ^ CASA
  4. ^ The Brown Derbies on CBS Early Show
  5. ^ London A Cappella Festival
  6. ^ 1995 CARA Winners
  7. ^ 1996 CARA Winners
  8. ^ "Nightcap" Track Credits
  9. ^ 2000 CARA Winners
  10. ^ 2000 CARA Nominees
  11. ^ ICCA Results Archived 2012-11-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ BOCA Vol. 1 Track Listing
  13. ^ BOCA 97-98 Track Listing
  14. ^ BOCA Humor Track Listing
  15. ^ RARB Review of "Jericho"
  16. ^ RARB Review of "Hybrid"
  17. ^ Derby #88
  18. ^ Derby #12
  19. ^ Derby #99
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2016-12-14). "UTA TV Lit Agent Joel Begleiter Moves To CAA". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  21. ^ Derby #31
  22. ^ Upright Citizens Brigade Performer Profile
  23. ^ Derby #87
  24. ^ Derby #45