Each year, the Whiffenpoofs seek out opportunities to use our voices to give back. Benefit concerts that raise money for worthy causes and free concerts aiming to soothe those in need of healing or inspire young singers are among our most meaningful performances. Here are some examples of outreach from the Whiffenpoofs of 2013!
On Valentine’s Day, the two-month anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that shook Connecticut and the nation, we followed up a speech by Governor Daniel Malloy with a performance for the inauguration of Newtown’s Healing Through the Arts initiative, which seeks to harness the power of the arts to bring people together and help all those affected process their experience.
On January 19, we had the privilege of performing at New York City’s Town Hall with two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole, the NYU N’Harmonics, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, in a concert hosted by the Association of Yale Alumni, with proceeds benefitting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. We debuted an arrangement of the standard “I Only Have Eyes for You” by Whiffenpoof alumnus Ben Wexler ‘11+1, featuring Ms. Ebersole on the solo.
In what was perhaps our most meaningful and personal concert of the year, we sang in New Orleans for and with a Whiffenpoof alumnus who was the victim of a random shooting, as he recovers in the hospital.
On tour in Washington, DC, we performed at Walter Reed Medical Center for patients and staff as part of the Stages of Healing series, drawing the program's largest crowd yet. We also performed at Woodlin Elementary School, where we helped show youngsters how fun and meaningful music-making can be.
On February 28, we performed a benefit concert for the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, a scholarship fund for students pursuing careers in education, founded in honor of Vicki Soto, a teacher at Sandy Hook who tragically lost her life heroically protecting her first grade students.
With great anticipation, we look forward to performing two benefit concerts in April with stage and screen stars Darren Criss, best known for his role on the Fox TV hit "Glee," and Taye Diggs, best known for his roles on ABC-TV's "Private Practice" and on the Broadway and feature film versions of RENT! On April 14th, we will perform with Darren Criss at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica to benefit P.S. Arts, a non-profit that improves children's lives through arts education (tickets available here!). On April 20th, we will perform with Taye Diggs at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco to benefit The New Conservatory Theatre Center's YouthAware program, which produces plays for young people that entertain, illuminate social issues, inspire and encourage healthier life choices (tickets available here).
For more information about our outreach, please do not hesitate to contact us. The Whiffenpoofs of Yale, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization.