The Whiffenpoofs – a world-renowned, all-male, a cappella group from Yale University – teamed up with the UCT Choir for a rousing, once-off performance at St George's Cathedral in central Cape Town on Friday 10 July.
The 14-strong Whiffenpoofs, or Whiffs as they are sometimes known, are the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, founded in 1909. They are famous for having once had Cole Porter in their ranks and are made up of undergraduate students.
The once-off concert in Cape Town was part of the Whiffenpoofs' annual three-month world tour that kicked off in Reyjavik in Iceland and ends in Queenstown in New Zealand on 17 August. Zanzibar and Cape Town were their only southern African stops.
UCT Choir musical director Kurt Haupt warmly welcomed the visitors to a packed cathedral, before leading his choir through their repertoire, ending with a lively performance of Shosholoza.
The Whiffs peppered their performance with humour and high jinx, as they crooned their way through a variety of romantic ballads, spirituals, R&B and pop. And while the group ended with the traditional Whiffenpoof song, the audience wouldn't let them go that easily. A standing ovation brought them back for one last number, before they headed off into the night to resume their whistle-stop tour of the world.
For those who missed the concert, the 2015 tour album, We Laugh and Sing, can be purchased online.
Story by Andrea Weiss. Photo by Michael Hammond.
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