Category Archives: Reunions

60th Anniversary Planning Call

Thanks for those folks who attended the 60th Anniversary Planning Call. Attendees included:

Jim Miller ‘78, Benji Goldsmith ‘14, Lefty Lefkowith ‘78, Ted Turk ‘74, Mike Fishback ‘01, John Langfitt ‘81, Michael Murray ‘09, Jon Eliot ‘77, John Bauer ‘74, Jeff Freeman ‘57, Lindsay Elliott ‘04, Elliot Watts ‘09, Dan McDermott ‘76, Tom Bulleit ‘79, Mike Hrycelak ’97… and others who did not identify themselves.

Discussions covered the proposed theme, musical programming, activity ideas, and Jim Miller’s missing rear end. Volunteers were successfully recruited to to help arrange performance, rehearsals, other activities, housing, meals, communications, and swag.

The organizing committees are below:

  • Music
  • Finance
  • Hospitality/Lodging/Space
  • Activities / Panels
  • Swag
  • Communications/Outreach

The tentative schedule is as follows:

Friday, October 18

  • 12 PM -6 PM: Registration (Rose Alumni House)
  • 3-6 PM: Cohort Rehearsals (various locations TBA)
  • 6 PM-10 PM: Cocktails and Dinner (Mory’s / TBA)
  • 10 PM ~: unscheduled carousing

Saturday, October 19:

  • 8:30-4 PM Registration (Location TBA)
  • 8:30-9:30 AM: Continental Breakfast (Location TBA)
  • 9:30-11 AM: Chorus of the Willing Rehearsal (Location TBA)
  • 11 AM-12:30 PM: Cohort Rehearsals (Location TBA)
  • 12:30-2: Lunch (on your own)
  • 2-4:30 PM (panel discussions, other activities TBA)
  • 5-6:30 PM: Gala Alumni Concert (Location TBA)
  • 7-10 PM: Gala Dinner (Graduate Club / TBA)
  • 10 PM ~: unscheduled carousing

Sunday October 20

  • 10-12 AM: Annual Meeting, Continental Breakfast and Farewell

A detailed agenda and minutes are attached as a PDF for the curious:

Da Doox 60th Reunion Full Agenda

LA Minireunion on March 4

The undergrads will be touring California during their spring break (the first two weeks of March).  To help celebrate, Dave Lefkowith ’78 (DMAA Butler, serving Lord Tom Bulleit) and his beautiful wife Elizabeth Gong-Guy will host a Duke’s Men Minireunion.

Sunday, March 4, 2012.
4pm – 7pm
Address:  1819 Mandeville Canyon Drive, Brentwood
Telephone: 310 476 0397
RSVP if may or will attend:
The Los Angeles Doox Mini-Reunion will feature singing by the current group, kicking off their LA / Las Vegas / Bay Area 2012 Spring tour. Doox alums will then attempt to revive old arrangements, many of which are no longer performed for a reason. Neighbors and friends will wander by to complain about the noise.
The Duke’s Men Alumni Association (DMAA) has sponsored mini-reunions in New York City, the SF / Oakland Bay Area and Boston.  Each of these events was tremendously successful, producing great joy for all attending. But the Los Angeles mini-reunion will be the most successful and joyous event yet, because the SoCal doox alum are by far the best looking, most talented and incredibly modest cohort.
The Lefkowith / Gong-Guy dynamic duo will provide hors d’oeuvres and icy water.  Those desiring other libations should BYOB.  Tickets to the restrooms will be sold at preferential rates.
(Voluntary, fully tax deductible DMAA dues gently requested at the door.)
C’mon Along!  Bring your sorry carcass to Mandeville Canyon on March 4.  (Street parking available on Reedvale, Old Orchard and Kimberly, all cul-de-sacs off the east side of Mandeville Canyon.  1819 Mandeville Canyon is directly opposite Old Orchard.)

Boston Minireunion — A rousing success

Murray Wheeler ’62 writes in an update for the Boston minireunion:

“As a delightful distraction from the only thing anyone seemed to be talking about during an otherwise seriously gray January day—Will the fourth primary go to yet a fourth Republican candidate?—a few of us organizers enjoyed the outcome of a fair amount of emailing and telephoning to gather all the New England doox we could muster for a mini-reunion chez Margaret and Linus Travers ’58 in Milton, MA.
Seventeen Doox alums, a dozen wives, partners, and kids, and three “Now Doox” up from New Haven, gave us more than a quorum for a good dose of schmoozing and a couple of healthy sets of song under the always thoughtful direction of Carl Kaestle ’62.

Judy, Marti, Don, Betsy, and Dave. 

Doox alums in attendance:
Jeff Freeman ’57 / Linus Travers ’58 / Carl Kaestle ’62 / John Knutson ’62 / Murray Wheeler ’62 / Dave Willis ’62 / Don Abbott, ’63 / Dave Budding ’63 / Bob Augusta ’66 / Rick Berlin ’67 / Bill Kasimer ’80 / Jay Gregory ’81 / Kurt Sternlof ’83 / Caleb White ’87 / Henri Weinberg ’92 / Ed Parsons ’96 /  Mattias Sparrow ’05.

The “Now Doox” were: Benji Goldsmith ’14, pitch, and Alex Caron and Brandon Hayse, both ’13 and the co-business managers—two tenors and a bass!

The alum singing focused on “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” “Wee Small Hours,” and, of course, “Istanbul.” The Now Doox, although modest in number, generously brought off charming renditions of two of their regular offerings—Barenaked Ladies’ “What a Good Boy,” and Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes.” The full ensemble also sang “Too Beautiful,” a ‘50s favorite that the current group has brought back into their repertoire. Afterward, around the piano, we had a fair amount of alumni wood-shedding, which seemed to work best on “Lone Prairie.”

What really touched us all was having the three Now Doox, after a post-midnight return from a concert in New Jersey the night before, get themselves up to Milton to give us four hours of excellent company, piles of interesting information about the lives of today’s Doox, and a couple of lovely songs!
As I wrote those New England Doox alums who were regrettably unable to join us, “we’ve left a wonderful legacy and the Now Doox are clearly reveling in the best of it.”
Speaking for the Now Doox, Alex Caron wrote later, “It really means a lot to the group that there is such a solid base of alumni who still enthusiastically congregate (and aren’t completely sick of each other) even without the Yale campus as the physical mediator. I feel proud, secure, and humbled to be part of a group with so much history and tradition, and I look forward to many more gatherings in the future.”

More photos from the reunion can be found on the DMAA Flickr account (

Western Massachusetts Minireunion

Earlier this summer, the undergraduate group was in western Massachusetts for rush retreat. While there, Carl Kaestle ’62 (and a new board member) and his wife hosted the group. Here are his memories of the event, which we’ve maintained in the 3rd person for no good reason:

Carl Kaestle ’62 and his wife Liz Hollander hosted the current Doox and area alumni for a barbecue at their home in North Egremont during the Doox summer retreat and tour in the Berkshires. The retreat site for the Doox was only about five miles away from Carl and Liz’s house, at the home of Alex Caron ’13‘s parents at Buel Lake. (Alex is the co-business manager of the Doox.)

Undergrads Singing

Attending the barbecue, in addition to twelve Doox, were Alex’s parents, and five alums: Kaestle, Jeff Freeman ’57, Fritz Kinzel ’58, John Barrett ’61 and his wife Cindy (pictured below in stunned/amused silence), and Jim Rossbach ’68 and his wife, Paddy. Invitations went out to area alumni, within 100 miles or so.

This was a great chance for the veteran Doox to meet the current members, and, of course, the group serenaded us with several songs. What a fabulous sound, what talent, what a gracious, lively bunch of guys!”

(The Board neither endorses nor denies the account of these events.)

John and Cindy Barrett

Happy February!

The DMAA had its first board meeting of 2011 last week. Some brief news.

1. Doox Jam This Week / Live Streaming
2. New Board Members
3. Regional Singing Dinners

1. Doox Jam This Week / Live Streaming
The undergraduate group’s annual spring concert is Friday, February 25, at 7:30pm in New Haven. Yep, that’s this Friday.

Lest we bury the lede: on Omar Christdis ’04’s suggestion, we are going to live stream the jam over the internet. Go to at jam’o’clock on the day of jam for the live stream. The feed will also be saved online for later viewing.

The Duke’s Men of Yale Present: Sgt. Basil’s Yearly Dukes Club Jam
First & Summerfield United Methodist Church
425 College St.
New Haven, CT
7:30pm, February 25th.

Students – $5 in advance; $6 at the door; $12 priority*
Adults – $10 in advance; $12 at the door; $20 priority*
*Priority = guaranteed front rows

Click here for tickets, or just show up, since alums don’t pay anyway.

2. New Board Members
The DMAA Board is pleased to welcome Carl Kaestle ’62, Tom Metzloff ’76, Mike Hrycelak ’97, and Elliot Watts ’09 to the fold. Some quick bios:

Carl Kaestle ’62 — Pitched the Duke’s Men of ‘60-‘61 (producing the Zounds LP, one of the best Doox recordings until the group’s breakout successes of the 1990s) and the Whiffenpoofs of ’62 before becoming an historian of education, most recently on the faculty of a lesser Ivy institution of higher learning in Providence, RI. Easily the Board member with the most pleasant speaking voice, Carl (whose last name is pronounced “kay’ sul” ) is nonetheless not the guy from “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

Tom Metzloff ’76 — A former business manager (‘74-‘75), Tom was renowned during his undergraduate years for owning the largest car manufactured in the pre-SUV era, and for competing with Rick Brookhiser ’77 at being the Duke’s Man with highest IQ. Following graduation from the law school at a lesser Ivy institution in Cambridge, MA, he went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White before becoming forever a “Duke’s Man” by joining the faculty of the Duke University School of Law. He teaches, among other things, ethics and dispute resolution. The rest of the board is excited to offer him real life tests on those issues.

Mike Hrycelak ’97 — Perhaps the lowest bass voice in the history of the Duke’s Men, Michael gave up a promising career doing voice overs of steamboat whistles to become an anesthesiologist. A former Business Manager from ’95-’96, Mike was present during the heart of the seminal 90’s era that produced records such as Food, Mom, and 45. Mike had been on tour since graduation, but now he’s back on tour’s longest stop — New Haven — as a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine.

Elliot Watts ’09 — Displaced Lindsay Elliott ’04 (sic) as the youngest member of the board. Business Manager of Da Doox of ‘07-‘08 and the undergraduate most involved in prodding the old guys to form the DMAA and run the 55th reunion. He was present during the recording of D.O.O.X. and the What a Trip / Smooth Ride double-album; apparently those were pretty good albums. Elliot is currently working for an education consulting firm in Boston and has the dubious long term ambition of becoming a lawyer. He’s padding his resume by going on a service trip in Liberia before enrolling next fall at an as-yet-undetermined law school. Having been born after the invention of the internet, Elliot is renowned for an inability to form complete

3. Regional Singing Dinners
The DMAA is happy to announce regional singing dinners in Chicago, Providence, and Washington DC in the upcoming months. More details in the next Istanbulletin.

Also: if you are interested in attending one of these or hosting one in your city, the board will happily help coordinate and subsidize the event.

Bay Area Minireunion

First of all, this is a bit of a misnomer — technically speaking, the DMAA did not hold a Bay Area mini-reunion in the fall. However, after the CA mini-reunions were canceled at the last minute, a set of northern California Doox alums decided to meet anyway. (Photos of the event can be found here). The first arrived around 5pm, most left around 10pm, and the last stayed til midnight.

Duke's Men singing, or yawning

All decades but the ’50s were represented as guys shared wine, stories, and discussed why Istanbul got the works. Hint: it’s nobody’s business but the Turks.* Host Ken Goldman’s wife was suitably impressed when the party broke out in spontaneous song, and it was agreed that annual or semi-annual singing dinners lie ahead.

Ken noted that songs sung that night included Alexander’s Ragtime Band, We Meet Again Tonight, You Are Too Beautiful, Lulu’s Back in Town, Mon Coeur Se Recommende a Vous, Little Lamb, Elijah Rock, Istanbul, and maybe even some other songs that required clapping and/or snapping. Also, due to the lack of a pitchpipe, a cello was impressed into service to find starting pitches.

Attendees in chronological order included:

Warren Rothman ’65
Jeff Parish ’66
Bingham “Toby” Kennedy ’66
David Kincaid ’74
Don Hayden ’77 (who remembered that Tom Bulleit told him that he was the reason Tom joined the group)
Ken Goldman ’87/’88/’??
John Gnuse ’92
Jim Casey ’07

* Though “Istanbul” has faded somewhat as the definitive closing song for all sets, its overall importance in American pop culture may actually be on the rise, as evidenced by its entertainment and thematic importance to the “Dream Hoarders” episode of Fox’s “Raising Hope, which first aired on 10/5/2010 and may be viewable here .

NYC Minireunion

The DMAA organized a mini-reunion at the Yale Club of NY on January 30th. In attendance were close to 100 people, including alums and the current group.

The evening was capped by a short song by some alums, a full set by the undergraduate group featuring solos from all of the freshmen, and finally some post set carousing. The set list included the following songs, whose videos are below:

  1. Introduction to the Black Hole Quartet (a set of ex-Doox pitchpipes)
  2. Since I Fell, performed by the BHQ
  3. Alexander’s Ragtime Band, performed by the Duke’s Men
  4. Carolina in My Mind, performed by the Duke’s Men
  5. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, performed by the Duke’s Men
  6. When You Come Back Down, performed by the Duke’s Men
  7. Get Away Jordan, performed by the Duke’s Men
  8. My Funny Valentine, performed by the Duke’s Men
  9. Personal Introductions
  10. Party in the USA, performed by the Duke’s Men
  11. You are Too Beautiful, performed by the Duke’s Men
  12. Take Me to the Pilot, performed by the Duke’s Men
  13. Either Way, performed by the Duke’s Men
  14. Umbrella, performed by the Duke’s Men
  15. Istanbul, performed by everyone
  16. The Obvious Child, performed by everyone (not recorded)
  17. Wonderful World, performed by everyone
  18. Dinah, performed by everyone
  19. What’s Your Name, performed by everyone
  20. What a Good Boy, performed by everyone (not recorded)
  21. I’ll Back You Up, performed by everyone
  22. Gonna Build a Mountain, performed by everyone

Introduction to the Black Hole Quartet from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Since I Fell (Black Hole Quartet) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Carolina in My Mind (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

When I Come Back Down (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Get Away Jordan (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

My Funny Valentine (Duke’s Men of Yale) from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Personal Introductions from Da Doox on Vimeo.

Umbrella from Da Doox on Vimeo.

The full set of the undergraduate group without breaks: