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Whiffenpoofs of Yale University return to Queenstown

Whiffenpoofs of Yale University return to Queenstown’s St Moritz for only NZ performance

The world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs of Yale are set to perform their only New Zealand concerts next week (August 19 and 20) at Queenstown’s Hotel St Moritz.

Every year 14 senior Yale University men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs and once a year in the spring the seniors tour the world serenading people with their inimitable style of a cappella.

Founded in 1909, the "Whiffs" began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory's Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. Today, the group has become one of Yale's most celebrated traditions.

St Moritz has a long-standing and much-loved relationship with the group who have been performing at the hotel for the last 12 years.

It was back in 2003 when the Whiffenpoofs were on their way to China that they had to make a last minute change of country due to the SARS outbreak, in order to keep their world tour going.

Hotel St Moritz in Queenstown came to the rescue and it was long-serving general manager Lynne McVicar who offered to host the group who in turn “sang for their supper” as a gesture of thanks.

“New Zealand was deemed a perfect place to detour to as we were far away from the outbreak. We’re delighted to have hosted them each and every year since, they always perform with gusto and passion,” said Ms McVicar.

“They’ve performed with us over the last 11 years in our restaurant Lombardi and have been known to break out into impromptu birthday serenades to our guests. It’s always fun when they visit and is something you have to see to appreciate. It sends shivers up your spine. They are fantastic.”

This will be the 12th Year the Whiffenpoofs have performed at St Moritz for their world tour and this year there will be two performances on 19 and 20 August.

The Tuesday night performance (time of 7pm to be confirmed) will be just $20 per person with all proceeds going to Cure Kids. Queenstown locals can enjoy specials on food and beverage pre and post the performance.

On Wednesday 20 August, there will be a special performance in the Library at Lombardi restaurant which starts at 7pm and includes a set three course dinner with 50 per cent of the $80 ticket price being donated to national charity Cure Kids.

“Lombardi is a wonderful space and enables us to host such exciting events, like the Whiffenpoofs. We’re always looking at ways to offer our guests and locals something a little unique which epitomises everything St Moritz stands for,” said Ms McVicar.

“Hosting intimate gatherings with exceptional talent, award-winning cuisine and perfectly-matched wines is what makes us special. It enables people to sample the delights of our signature restaurant Lombardi while experiencing something they may never get the chance to again in their lifetime.

“The Whiffenpoofs are an institution renowned the world over and we’re honoured to host them each year. We’re all groupies here and excited to see what this year’s tour has in store for us,” she said.

Tickets can be booked online via the St Moritz website


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