Every year, 14 senior Yale students are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the oldest and best-known American collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated traditions, with over a century of musical excellence.
Singing a mixture of old Yale tunes, jazz standards, and other hits from across the decades, the Whiffenpoofs perform more than 200 concerts each year. Their characteristic white tie and tails, paired with their enthusiasm and humor, have become iconic for audiences all around the United States and across the world.
Recent Whiffenpoof performance venues include Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Rose Bowl, and Lincoln Center. The Whiffenpoofs have reached a television audience of more than 175 million via appearances in NBC’s The Sing-Off, The West Wing, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, Gilmore Girls, Jeopardy!, Saturday Night Live, and most recently the Season 4 finale of the hit television show Glee.
The Whiffenpoofs have sung for multiple sitting Presidents of the United States and have toured over twenty countries on six continents. Nonetheless, the Whiffs always feel most at home at Yale on their perennial Monday night engagement at Mory’s, where they close each night with the historic Whiffenpoof Song, covered by artists among the likes of Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, and Rudy Vallee.