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Photo by Broadmead resident Erroll Hay

Whiffenpoofs Sing at Broadmead

By Jackie Mintz

Serendipitously, Broadmead received a visit this autumn from the Whiffenpoofs, the storied singing group from Yale College. Formed in 1909, it is the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the country and counts Cole Porter among its illustrious alumni.

The Whiffenpoofs’ appearance at Broadmead, under the sponsorship of the Music Committee, was made possible because they were staying at Tally Ho, the Monkton home of Laura Saterlie and Chammy Green. Laura is the daughter of resident Mary Ellen Saterlie.

Since it was the Whiffenpoofs’ first official concert of the year and they had been practicing for only four days, the concert was relatively short. They expect to develop a more extensive repertoire, one that many residents hope they will bring back with them in the spring. The group’s enthusiastic and lively performance more than met residents’ expectations.

The program opened with the members marching in singing Aj Lúˇcka Luˇcka, Široká, the opening they have used since 1909. The program ended with a rendition of the Whiffenpoof song, “We’re poor little lambs who have lost their way.” Heirs to a tradition over a century old, the Whiffenpoofs now have a website:

Limited to men for most of its history, the group finally allowed women in their ranks a few years ago, almost 50 years after the college itself admitted women as undergraduate students. Of the group of 14 members, 5 are women.

Whiffenpoofs serve for just one year. They are chosen by their predecessors during their junior year and take a year off before their senior year to give concerts. They are scheduled this year to travel to 15 states and 19 countries, including Peru, Norway, Kenya, China, and Australia.

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