A Cappella Singing Groups Making A Comeback

There was a nice piece on "Sunday Morning" today regarding the renewed popularity of a cappella singing groups among college students. The two institutions spotlighted were Yale and UNC.

The opening line was "from Chapel Hill to New Haven............." Pretty good company being acknowledged with the likes of the Whiffenpoofs. According to the piece, there are currently nine (9) a capella singing groups at UNC. The Clef Hangers and the Loreleis were mentioned specifically. It showed both groups performing and interviewed briefly a couple of the participants. It was a very favorable presentation of the subject matter and one the member of the Clef Hangers said he really enjoyed the somewhat celebrity status being in the group afforded him. He said oftentimes at social gatherings people will come up to him and say they recognize him from having seen him with the CHs. Most of the Yale story was about the tryouts and the stress of not knowing one has made it until the new inductees are announced.

A capella singing and glee clubs used to be big at colleges and universities. When I initially went to college in 1950 at East Carolina, the guys would assemble outside one of the female dormitories after curfew and sing barbershop type songs. The girls seemed to like it and would go immediately to their windows after they had "checked in" and would shout requests for us to sing. The first East Carolina Men's Glee Club was formed from that group and I'm proud to say I was elected its first president. My term in office was short lived, however, since I left ECC ( now ECU ) in January of '51 and did not return there after my stint in the military. We did put on one concert and years later, I saw in the yearbook that our photograph was included.

I have a Clef Hangers tape (I don't do CDs) and frequently we play it in the van on the way down to Chapel Hill. It gets us in then mood for the athletic contest we are about to see.

Oh yes, my wife said she heard the narrator refer to the "Duke's Men", but I didn't hear it. She may have been pulling my chain. If the reference was made, it was in passing and there was no further reference to Duke. Bet that doesn't sit too well with them. I must admit I am not attuned to items associated with Duke and I may very well have missed it.

I just remembered. One very attractive girl at UNC said she would be glad when the concert was over because she was a little tired of hearing the singing between every class. She was smiling and I don't think she really meant it. She was probably a little jealous because I have known many a pretty girl who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. No scientific correlation between looks and singing ability here, but I'm just passing along a personal observation I have made over the years.

In my mind I'm going to Carolina. I think I'll go sit in the van and listen to the Hangers tape again. Now if I just had the Loreleis.

ramfanatic note: It's very interesting to me that my spellcheck spells capella with one "p" but the Webster's Unabradged Dictionary spells it with 2. Just wanted you to know that, at least, I try to get it right. Sometimes that's difficult.