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Colourful singing group from years ago back in Bermuda

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The Yale Whiffenpoofs alumni perform in Nantucket, Massachusetts last August (Photograph supplied)

Alumni of a groundbreaking a cappella group will reunite in Bermuda for the first time in more than a decade this weekend.

The Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni will meet in full today to prepare themselves for performances tomorrow and on Sunday.

Marty Amick, 72, said that it would be the first time in a very long time since these former members of the singing group performed in Bermuda.

He added: “It’s an interesting group of people who still love singing and love getting together to sing.

“My hope is that this will become an annual thing.”

The Yale Whiffenpoofs from 1973, which features Marty Amick and other members set to perform over the weekend (Photograph supplied)

The Yale Whiffenpoofs, comprising 14 men and women selected every year, date back to 1909 and have become one of the world’s oldest and most prolific a cappella groups.

They used to perform at Bermuda’s old Castle Harbour Hotel in Hamilton Parish, which was demolished in 2002 and replaced with the Rosewood Hotel.

The Yale Whiffenpoofs stopped visiting Bermuda during their springtime world tours around 2013.

Mr Amick, a former member of the singing group who lives in Sandys, said that he first came to Bermuda in 1971 with the Yale Whiffenpoofs and had been living on island for the past 20 years.

He had the idea to invite old members of the group after seeing alumni meet to sing in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Florida.

He added: “I’ve been singing with this group for five or six, may seven years – but never in Bermuda.

“We’ve always gotten together and for a weekend in Nantucket because people had connections there.

“So one day I just thought ‘why don’t we try doing it in Bermuda?’ and the response was great.

“People were so excited to get together, and word has been travelling around.”

The Yale Whiffenpoofs with former Governor, George Fergusson, and his wife, Margaret, after the group visited in 2013. This was the last time the Yale Whiffenpoofs performed in Bermuda (Photograph supplied)

The 13 singers graduated from Yale between 1959 and 1973, with the exception of one singer who graduated in 2011.

Their style of singing mirrors the barbershop quartet with its complex harmonies and doo-wop style.

They are known for singing old songs, with one popular piece dating back to the American Civil War in 1864, but occasionally do more contemporary pieces, such as songs by the Beatles.

About half of the singers flew in last night, while the others will be coming in today.

They plan to practice at Grotto Bay Resort tomorrow at 10.30am.

The Yale Whiffenpoof Alumni will perform at the Bermuda Royal Yacht Club in Hamilton tomorrow at 6pm and the Coral Beach and Tennis Club in Paget on Sunday at 6pm.

They will be on the island until Monday.

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Published April 25, 2024 at 7:45 am (Updated April 25, 2024 at 7:06 am)

Colourful singing group from years ago back in Bermuda

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