Our Middle School had the honor of hosting Yale University’s a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs. The Whiffenproofs are the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. The esteemed group is on an East Coast tour, and thanks to current trustee and parent Betsey Hobelmann ’87, they were able to arrange a visit to Calvert. As a student at Yale, Betsey sang in the female counterpart of the Whiffenpoofs, Whim ’n’ Rhythm. Both groups are considered to be the premier vocal ensembles of the university. Betsey shares, “I feel so lucky to be a part of these communities.”
The Whiffenpoofs were greeted by Ben B. ’20, Elisabeth S. ’20, Ava W. ’20, and Channing L. ‘20 who are Fine Arts Captains and members of Calvert’s own Glee Club — a new addition to extracurricular clubs in the Middle School, directed by Alexis Tantau. The approximately two-dozen Fifth - Eighth Graders who sing in the Glee Club had the opportunity to have a workshop with the “Whiffs,” who led the kids in some of their favorite warm-ups and shared what they like most about rehearsing together. They also sang through Calvert Glee Club’s repertoire, helping them to learn new parts and adding strength to the fledgeling group. Ms. Tantau felt it was an awesome experience for the newly-formed club, “It was so magical to have such excellent musicians singing with our kids — the energy was palpable!”
After the workshop, the entire Middle School was treated to a performance in the Assembly Hall. Songs ranged from the pensive “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, to the energetic gospel song “Operator” by Sister Wynona Carr. Between the stunning treatments of classic songs such as Simon and Garfunkle’s “The Boxer,” beautiful solos, and a fair share of corny jokes, the Whiffenpoofs’ visit is one that will not be soon forgotten.