he Society of Orpheus and Bacchus is the second-longest-running collegiate a cappella group in the nation. We have an enormous repertoire spanning more than seven decades that includes Yale traditionals, jazz, blues, rock and roll, and original compositions. We also pride ourselves on injecting a healthy dose of comedy into our performances to make each concert engaging and unique. We have brought our unique blend of showmanship all around the nation and the globe: from the White House to the NBA Miami Heat team, from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to the shores of Aruba as well as to numerous schools, country clubs, and churches. Our blend of musical excellence, spontaneity, and laughter has kept audiences around the world entertained for over 70 years and promises to continue to do so for decades to come.
The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus is a non-profit organization—we rely entirely on the proceeds from events and your generous donations to spread our love for music and humor around the world. If you would like to make a donation at this time, please click here.
Our concerts usually run between 30 and 60 minutes, according to the preferences of our host. Typically, we intersperse our musical selections with short comedy segments, resulting in virtuosic, light-hearted performances that captivate a wide variety of audiences. Each concert is specially tailored to the crowd and setting, allowing us to sing comfortably in a variety of venues. Whether we are roving around a lobby in suits and ties or serenading a dinner party in full tuxedos, our hosts can choose the type of performance that best suits their event.
The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus boasts the largest songbook of any Yale a cappella ensemble. Our repertoire spans a wide range of musical genres: jazz standards, folk tunes, barbershop quartets, gospel music, religious traditionals, spirituals, blues, pop, rock and roll, and traditional Yale songs. Every song we perform is arranged by a current or past group member. We are continually adding to our repertoire, but many of our favourite songs have been sung by the group for over half a century. Every few years we produce a CD; our latest is entitled The Continuing Adventures of Cyrus T. Elk and His Fantastical Flying Machine. For more information about the SOB Songbook and discography, please visit our Music tab.
With its goal of furthering musical education, The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus conducts master classes for many schools at which we perform. These are led by our musical director and involve the Society interacting with students through discussion and demonstration. Engaging students in a series of warm-ups and vocal exercises, we pass on our knowledge of the key components of vocal technique and successful a cappella singing. Encouraging students to sing for us, we also give feedback and offer suggestions of how to improve and implement what they have learned. In addition, we are happy to field questions about singing, life at Yale and what it is like to travel extensively around the world whilst singing with the SOBs. These intimate sessions usually last 20 to 30 minutes following a concert and offer a great way to interact with us on a whole new level.
"The president admires your work. He appreciates your contributions to the war on terror."
—Joshua Bolten, Chief of Staff, following a brief concert at the White House on 3/8/08
"You guys are incredible!"
—Bob Feller, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, at a concert at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC on 3/22/08
"That was beautiful. I'd like to think that if Jerry were here, he would have been moved to tears as I was."
—Phil Lesh, bassist of the Grateful Dead, upon hearing the SOBs perform the Dead's Brokedown Palace
> The White House – Washington, DC
> Miami Heat NBA Team – Florida
> CityPlaza Shopping Mall – Hong Kong
> The Aberdeen Marina Club – Hong Kong
> The Hong Kong Jockey Club – Hong Kong
> Hong Kong Country Club – Hong Kong
> St Paul’s School – Barnes, London UK
> The Frances-Ameriques Club– France
> Orpheus and Bacchus Resort – France
> Clinton Library – Little Rock, Arkansas
> The Cloister – Sea Island, GA
> The Army and Navy Club – Washington, DC
> The FedEx Forum – Memphis, Tennessee
> The Adolphus Hotel – Dallas, Texas
> Walt Disney World – Orlando, Florida
> Ritz-Carlton – Montreal, Quebec & West Palm Beach
> The Family Club – San Francisco, CA
> "Knock First" – ABC Family
> Statesville Corretional Center – Chicago, IL
> Old Fort Pub – Hilton Head, South Carolina
> Ed Sullivan Show – New York, New York
> Huey's Restaurant Chain – Memphis, TN
> Yale Club of New York – New York, New York
> The Chilton Club – Boston, MA
> Hutchison School – Memphis, IL