On a brisk autumn night in 1943, our founding fathers climbed to the top of Saybrook Tower and serenaded the campus with Sally in Our Alley.
Since then, the Alley Cats have crafted over 200 arrangements, released a few dozen albums, and traveled around the globe upwards of twenty times. We've performed for President Obama, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and Queen Silvia of Sweden; we've appeared on Martha Stewart Living, opened for Jay Leno's comedy show, and been praised as "Mm-mm delicious" by Aretha Franklin herself. Today, we enjoy singing contemporary numbers as well as those that have been in our group for generations. Although a lot has changed since 1943, we still begin every concert with our traditional opening song—the same tune the Cats sang into the night seventy years ago.
Our musical repertoire, over 200 pieces arranged by current or former Alley Cats, reflects our tradition and diversity. It has grown over our 70 years to include a mix of everything from the Temptations and Stevie Wonder to Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift. We perform these songs while staying true to our roots in the standards of the American Songbook from the likes of Gershwin, Ellington, and Porter. Our complex arrangements and acknowledged musical excellence allow us to perform for any audience, from ambassadors to elementary schoolers, making for an always exciting Alley Cat experience.
The Alley Cats in 2015-2016
What a year to be a Cat! After coming out of rush with five amazing new freshman Kittens joining us, we performed throughout New England and on campus here at Yale. Winter tour took the Cats to down South, travelling around the unbeatable Lone Star State, Texas with stops in Dallas and Houston. We performed a raucous 73rd Anniversary Champagne Jamboree here in New Haven, which was a wildly fun night of music and reunion with our wonderful alumni. Spring break was spent far across the Pacific, exploring the incredible island-city state of Singapore – with highlight performances including Universal Studios, The Fullerton Hotel, Yale-NUS College, and many more! To top it all of, the Cats spent the month of May touring four European countries, getting off to a royal start in London and Oxford, UK, before spending a stunning few nights in Madrid, Spain, followed by Geneva, Switzerland, ending amidst the picturesque ancient streets of Rome, Italy. All the while, we were also extremely proud to see two Alley Cats travel the world with the Whiffenpoofs of 2016: Yan-Yang Feng, '16+1, and Zachary Blickensderfer, '16+1! We're sending them all our love and support as they embark on an exciting year of performing as part of one of Yale's oldest traditions. Huge congratulations to you both!