Members of the Westminster community were treated to a very special performance of the Yale Whiffenpoofs of 1958 and 2015 on Sept. 25 in the Werner Centennial Center. The joint performance is thought to be the first of its kind in the 105-year history of the group.
The Whiffenpoofs are the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. Each year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be in the group, which performs throughout the United States and internationally.
The 1958 Whiffenpoofs included 13 members, four of whom were members of Westminster’s Class of 1954: Sherm Durfee, Bart Miller, Chris Smith and Terry West. Eleven of the original 1958 Whiffenpoofs performed at the Westminster concert, including three of the Westminster alumni, along with an honorary member, former Westminster headmaster and 1955 Whiffenpoof Don Werner P’79, ’82. Terry West was unable to attend.
The groups rehearsed for their joint performance at a “singing dinner” in Hinman Reading Room just prior to the event. During the concert, the 1958 group sang six songs, and the 2015 group sang seven songs. The two groups then sang four songs together, including the traditional Whiffenpoof Song.
Don Werner, who arranged the performance, said he received a number of calls the morning after the concert from people saying how much they liked the joy of the occasion. “People mentioned how music binds us together,” he added. He was pleased with both the music and the spirit of the occasion.
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