On a brisk autumn night in 1943...
Our founding fathers climbed to the top of Saybrook Tower and serenaded campus with our traditional opening number, “Sally in Our Alley.”
Since then, as Yale’s classiest a cappella group, the Cats have created over 200 original arrangements from jazz standards to Motown, from timeless oldies to contemporary chart-toppers. We've released several dozen albums, held seventy-four annual Champagne Jamborees, and performed for public figures such as President Barack Obama, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Martha Stewart, and Jay Leno. In true Cat fashion, as the first Yale a cappella group to tour internationally, we bring our unique brand of refined all-male harmonies, stylistic expertise, and witty charm to destinations around the world. In our seventy-fifth season, with tours to London, Nashville, Cincinnati, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and Berlin in the works, there has truly never been a better time to be a member of the Alley Cat family. Join this storied tradition, and share with us an incredible experience of history, unforgettable friendship, travel, and — in the words of Aretha Franklin — “Mm-mmm delicious” music! And remember, like those who came before you have learned: once a Cat, always a Cat.
Our musical repertoire, all arranged by current or former Alley Cats, reflects both our tradition and diversity. It has grown over our 75 years to include a mix of everything from the Temptations and Michael Jackson to Sam Smith and Alicia Keys. We add modern pieces while staying true to our roots in jazz standards from the likes of Gershwin, Ellington, and Porter. Our complex arrangements and acknowledged musicality allow us to perform for any audience, from ambassadors to elementary schoolers, making for an always exciting Alley Cat experience.
The Alley Cats in 2017-2018
What a year to be a Cat! After coming out of Rush with six amazing first-year Kittens joining us, we performed throughout the East Coast and on campus here at Yale. Winter tour took the Cats down south to Cat Hometown Atlanta, GA. Notable performances included singing for the Atlanta Rotary Club, and Eddie's Attic. After Winter tour, we continued singing around the Northeast, including performances for ESPN and Sprint. We later performed a raucous 74th Anniversary Champagne Jamboree here in New Haven — a wild night of music and reunion with our wonderful alumni. Spring break was spent far across the ocean in China on a ten-city tour, including stops in Beijing, Xi'an, Luoyang, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, with highlight performances including The Central Conservatory of Music, English Weekly webcast, singing on the Luoyang Radio, and many more! To finish the year, the Cats spent the month of May touring the Pacific, beginning in Honolulu, Hawaii before venturing to Sydney, Australia, and completing a road-trip across New Zealand, with stops in Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch, and many more! On this trip we were fortunate enough to sing for the Governor of Hawaii (Who proclaimed May 15th official "Yale Alley Cats Day"!), and on the Australian Channel 9 News. Now, we are extremely excited to see two Alley Cats travel the world with the Whiffenpoofs of 2018: Nicholas Biniaz-Harris, '18+1, and Eli Daiute, '18+1! We're sending them all our love and support as they embark on an exciting journey of performing as part of one of Yale's oldest traditions.