The Yale Alley Cats

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The Yale Alley Cats
Yale Alley Cats 2018-19.jpg
Yale Alley Cats of 2018-2019
Background information
OriginNew Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
GenresA cappella, pop, jazz, R&B, Motown, soul
Years active1943 – present (76 years) Edit this at Wikidata
MembersTenor I
Raphie Orleck-Jetter ‘21
Kaori West '21
Kiko Wong ‘22
Alexander Wang ‘23

Tenor II
Tyler Shen ‘21
Julian Hornos Kohl '22
Yaakov Huba ‘23
Seoho Kim ‘23

Zach Taylor '21
Vikram Akwei '22
Nico Burbano '22
Carl Viyar ‘23

Jason Kim ‘21
Chad Palmer '22
Adrien Rolet ‘23
Owen Wheeler ‘23

Musical Director
Jason Kim

Business Manager
Kiko Wong

The Yale Alley Cats are an all-male, undergraduate a cappella singing group at Yale University. Founded in 1943, they are the third oldest underclassman a cappella group at Yale, at 76 years.[1] While the group’s early repertoire was based primarily in jazz, their current arrangements (all composed by present or former group members) span pop, R&B, Motown, folk, and a variety of other genres.[2] Each year, the Alley Cats perform for public and private audiences throughout the United States and on several international tours.[3]


In the summer of 1943, four Yale undergraduate students climbed Saybrook Tower to serenade the night with Henry Carey's "Sally in Our Alley." Their singing awoke the College Master who quickly yelled at them "Stop it! Your singing sounds like a bunch of screeching alley cats!" The Master then silenced the young gentlemen and sent them to bed, but the performance marked the group's founding and taking the name, "The Yale Alley Cats."[3] Since then, the group has created more than 200 a cappella arrangements and completed performance tours around the world, with the travel costs being funded by revenue from performances.[4] Each year the group also hosts a large on-campus performance known as the "Champagne Jamboree," traditionally featuring a female guest soloist and a dance number.[5]


The Yale Alley Cats have entertained audiences world-wide, performing for many notable figures including Martha Stewart, Jay Leno, Stella McCartney, Tom Brokaw, and President Barack Obama.[2][6] Their 2013 album "Ghost of a Chance," on the Bridge Records, Inc. label, reached the 52nd Grammy Awards entry list for Best Pop Vocal Album.[3][7] In 2017, they performed for Facebook Headquarters and Google Headquarters on their tour of the California Bay Area,[4] then later for the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland,[8] as well as for the United States Embassy in Paris, France.[9] In 2018, the group completed a ten-city tour of China through the invitation of Beijing Shengchou Education Technology Company,[10][9] including collaborations with the Central Conservatory of Music and other schools and hotels across the nation such as the Little Swan Choir in Xi'an.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]

Many Alley Cats go on to join The Yale Whiffenpoofs—a selective, all-senior, all-male a cappella group[12]—and some have gone on to careers in the performing arts, including:


Each year, first-years audition in a multi-week process known as "rush." [13] In the tradition of many Yale a cappella groups, the current Alley Cats “tap” first-year students to sing with the group for three years.[14][15]


Since their founding, the Yale Alley Cats have recorded thirty-two albums and one EP, including multiple live albums.[16][17]

Title Year Released
Love Lost - EP 2019
Havana - Single 2019
Midnight Drive 2017
The Gamble 2015
The Very Best of the Yale Alley Cats 2014
Noir 2013
Maneki Neko 2010
Ghost of a Chance 2009
Classic 2006
Ninth Live 2004
Day & Night 2003
Est. 1943 2001
Cats Around the World 2000
Scratch 1999
Live in Europe 1998
Hot Tin Roof 1997
Swinging Cat 1995
Lingers on My Mind 1993
Mood Calico 1991
Top Hat & Tails 1989
Faux Paws 1987
The Cat's Out 1983
Night and Day 1981
Down for Double 1979
Magic To Do 1977
Out Cattin' 1975
25th Anniversary 1973
Our House 1971
Tales of the Alley Cats 1969
You Go to My Head 1967
Just For My Love 1965
The Yale Alley Cats: Volume IV 1964
Bewitching... 1963
The Yale Alley Cats 1958


  1. ^ The Yale Alley Cats Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "The Yale Alley Cats". Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c The Yale Alley Cats Archived 2010-10-27 at the Wayback Machine release their first studio album under the Bridge Records label.
  4. ^ a b "History". The Yale Alley Cats. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  5. ^ "Alley Cats perform with female singer". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  6. ^ The Yale Alley Cats on "Martha Stewart's Home for the Holidays."
  7. ^ 52nd Grammy Awards entry list, Field 1, Category 11: Best Pop Vocal Album. Note: The original list at has been removed. A true and accurate copy is found at the current-referenced URL.
  8. ^ "Photo at the United Nations". The Yale Alley Cats. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  9. ^ a b "A cappella groups see spring break travel". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  10. ^ "Sina Visitor System". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  11. ^ ""耶鲁大学胡同猫"清唱团走进西安音乐学院". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  12. ^ "An Irrepressible Urge to Join – Musical Groups", The Yale Alumni Magazine, January 2003.
  13. ^ Yale Singing Group Council: "What is "rush?"" Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Yale Daily News: "A cappella taps newest members" Archived 2010-02-04 at the Wayback Machine, The Yale Daily News, New Haven, 24 September 2009.
  15. ^ "Yale's A Cappella Rush", National Public Radio, 26 September 2002.
  16. ^ "Current Albums". The Yale Alley Cats. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  17. ^ "Back Catalog". The Yale Alley Cats. Retrieved 2016-02-29.

External links[edit]