‘The Yale Spizzwinks(?)’ Return to Vero

arts & entertainment

Uber-talented singers with a funny name, The Yale Spizzwinks(?) are America’s first and oldest underclassman a cappella group. Since 1914, they’ve entertained audiences around the world with their close harmony arrangements, energetic style and fast wit. They last visited the area in 2018. Now on spring tour, the group of 16 tuxedo-clad young people will make a stop in Vero Beach on Sunday, March 12 for a 3:00 PM performance hosted by the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. The lighthearted singers will present a concert for the general public at the Emerson Center, 1590 27th Avenue, 32960. The versatile “Winks” maintain a broad repertoire of original arrangements of jazz standards, ballads, show tunes, pop and rock music – all performed a cappella (without musical accompaniment). The group was formed over 100 years ago to provide audiences with a carefree alternative to the Whiffenpoofs, Yale’s older, all-senior a cappella group. Each year, The Yale Spizzwinks(?) perform over 100 concerts across the nation and around the world. Recent performances include audiences at ESPN, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney World, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the White House. $30 tickets are available through the orchestra website www.SpaceCoastSymphony.org or at Marine Bank & Trust, beachside and mainland branches. Tickets at the door are $35. Concertgoers aged 18 and under or with a college ID are admitted free to every SCSO concert. NOTE: Season passes or flex tickets will not be accepted for this special concert. For more information about The Yale Spizzwinks(?), call toll free to 855-252-7276 or visit www.SpaceCoastSymphony.org.   

Spizzwinks 2023

Space Coast Symphony Orchestra Conductor and Artistic Director, Aaron T. Collins, can’t wait to welcome The Yale Spizzwinks(?) back to Central Florida.

“The Spizzwinks(?) just about brought the house down the last time they were here,” said Collins. “Their rapport with the audience is incredible! We are beyond proud to host another fun concert by these talented young people.”  

Concertgoers aged 18 and under or with a college ID are admitted free to every SCSO concert. For more information about the Space Coast Symphony 2022-23 season or the Symphony for Everyone discount ticket program, visit SpaceCoastSymphony.org or call toll-free (855) 252-7276.

OFFICIAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/user/theyalespizzwinks

ABOUT THE YALE SPIZZWINKS(?) — from https://www.spizzwinks.com/

Our Founding – The Spizzwinks(?) are America’s first underclassman a cappella group. In an age before iPods or reality TV, when the only way to hear singing without instruments was in the shower, we showed the world that a bunch of college guys sporting sweet harmonies and a perplexing name was a winning combination. That’s right – we liked a cappella before it was cool!

Iowan Insects – Like all great stories, the Spizzwink(?) saga begins in 1906 in Iowa, when the state was in the oppressive grip of a massive, inexplicable Corn Blight. Inexplicable, that is, except to one man: a small-town postmaster by the name of Frank Johnson. Mr. Johnson proclaimed to anyone who would listen that the Great Iowa Corn Blight was the handiwork of an insect known as the Spizzwink, which, coincidentally, only he could see. Few took heed of his warning, and the legend of the mythical Spizzwink would have been lost, but for a young boy with a sweet voice from that small town in Iowa, whose greatest ambition was to someday attend Yale University…

Young Yalies – Flash forward to the winter of 1913, where four Yale freshmen – including a certain young man from Iowa – met at Mory’s Temple Bar, Yale’s historic tavern, to decide upon a name for their new singing group. This new group had been created to provide audiences with a light-hearted alternative to the Whiffenpoofs, Yale’s older, all-senior a cappella group, who were known as much for their stodginess as for their musical excellence. After an evening of drinking and thinking (and perhaps more of the former than the latter), our hero glimpsed a strange sight across the table: the ghost of his old postmaster, Frank Johnson. Inspiration struck, and the young singer exclaimed, “That’s it, boys! We’ll call the group the Spizzwinks!”

Erroneous Editors – Later that year, the editor of Yale’s yearbook was unsure of the spelling of the fledgling group and added a question mark in parentheses as an editorial mark. The group liked the look of “The Spizzwinks(?)” and the parenthetical question mark is still with us today.

Today – Since our historic beginning at Mory’s, the Spizzwinks(?) have proudly carried on a tradition of musical excellence and camaraderie as one of America’s oldest choirs. With one eye towards our one hundred year history and the other towards the future, we seamlessly fuse tradition and innovation to bring audiences a unique and unforgettable concert experience.

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