The undergrads had a wildly successful Jam on Friday, Feb 24. Videos from the concert were streamed live on www.justin.tv/dadoox, and videos from the concert can be seen on Brandon Hayse ’13’s mother account here:
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.
Address: 1819 Mandeville Canyon Drive, Brentwood
Telephone: 310 476 0397
Judy, Marti, Don, Betsy, and Dave.
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.”
More photos from the reunion can be found on the DMAA Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmaa)
In Memoriam: John Barrett ’61 and Randy Tucker ’74
Just before Christmas 2011, John Barrett ’61 passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease. John was a member of the Duke’s Men and the Whiffenpoofs of 1961. Despite his poor health, he made a point of attending the Western Massachusetts Mini Reunion sponsored by Carl Kaestle ’62 last summer. He told Carl how happy he was to be invited because “that’s the kind of thing that makes life worth living”. John’s full obituary is available here: http://obitsforlife.com/obituary/445663/Barrett-John.php
John’s death comes almost two years after the passing of Emmett “Randy” Tucker ’74, another Whiffendoox who also had Lou Gehrig’s disease (http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/newton/2010/02/emmett_tucker_57_lawyer_active.html). Randy’s Whiff group paid a visit to him a few weeks before his death. See some touching videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/milosmamma1/videos
Holcombe and Ben played a concert at the Yale Cabaret on Jan 12th in the middle of Belt. The undergrads joined them to open the show by singing their Doox classic, “What a Good Boy.” The video of the song, courtesy of Ethan Heard ’06 can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/37436899
During the same weekend on Aug 21, the group gave a performance at the Berkshire Theatre Festival on the Fitzpatrick Stage. The following is Tom Bulleit ’79‘s review of that concert.
“On Sunday, August 21, 2011, the Berkshire Music Festival in Stockbridge, MA hosted the first concert of the 2011-2012 year for the Duke’s Men of Yale (self-described as “the youngest and best-looking of Yale’s male a cappella singing groups”). It was a triumph.
Fresh from only two days’ rehearsal at their retreat at the Great Barrington, MA, home of Co-Business Manager Alex Caron ’13‘s parents, da doox dazzled an audience of young, old, and some distinguished alumni at an afternoon concert. Sophomore pitchpipe Benji Goldsmith ’14 stepped up like a pro, offering a program that mixed admirably newer and older repertory to produce a seamlessly enjoyable performance.
The group opened with Ben Wexler’s ’11 newish arrangement of “Party in the USA”, featuring rising sophomores Terrence Chin-Loy ’14 and Alex Ratner ’14 on the solos. Terrence sings first tenor but has a strong baritone as well, showcasing the latter on this song and the former on Eric Schorr ‘82’sclassic arrangement of “Gonna Build a Mountain.” Alex returned us to the 1970s with his lithe performance of the Jackson 5 standard, “I Want You Back.”
Another sophomore who gave strong performances of both old (James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind”) and new (Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire”) was Nimal Eames-Scott ’14 .
I was also pleased that the group has also reprised Dan Korn ‘89’s arrangement of “Motherless Child,” originally and memorably sung by the late Tony Bailey ’90, and ably rendered on this occasion by Alex Caron.
Jim Chu ’72’s arrangement of the Rock & Roll spoof “What’s Your Name?” was sung to the mother ofBrandon Hayse ’14, by Rueben Hendler ’13 (younger brother of former pitchpipe Micah Hendler ’11) and Henry Gottfried ’13, who smoothly handled the master of ceremonies duties for the concert (and author of that bit of impish narcissism that opened the concert).
Songs from the second Golden Age (the 1990s) have never been better sung. Two Landsverk ’99/Sagalowicz ’98 classics – “Obvious Child” and “What a Good Boy” — improved everyone’s afternoon. Sam Tsui ’11 is a hard act to follow, but Henry gave a moving rendition of Good Boy.
For those who thought that the Nathan Reiff ’07 arrangement of “Either Way” would have to be retired when Casey Breves ’09 left the group for the Whiffenpoofs of 2009 and later for San Francisco’s famed professional a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, Brandon proved that the song still has life, as he performed a moving version, accompanied by Nate Janis ’13 on the duet. Hayse’s sweet tenor also did justice to Adam Grupper ’84’s arrangement of “Wonderful World.”
The alums (and I hope the audience) were pleased that songs from the Founders’ era were still represented, as Gottfried (this guy has a lot of solos, doesn’t he?) performed Lou Hemingway ’42’s“You Are Too Beautiful,” and the guys continued the tradition of inviting alums to join them on Walt Farrier ’54’s immortal “Istanbul.”
Alums in attendance included former pitchpipes Augustus ‘Fritz’ Kinzel ’58, Carl Kaestle ’62, andyours truly. Alums will remember that Kinzel and Kaestle are two of the most important figures in da doox illustrious history. Fritz arranged, among others, “Lulu’s Back in Town,” “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?,” and “Lone Prairie” (with Jeff Freeman ’57); Kaestle the ballad “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” along with two humor standards from the ‘60s rep, the Kennedy homage “New Frontier” and Flanders and Swanns’ “Wom Pom Song.” These two were also the first two Duke’s Men to be elected to pitch the Whiffenpoofs. Also joining the group on stage was a refreshing representative from the lost generation (late ‘60s to early ‘70s), Jim Rossbach ’68.
Privately, the alums repeated the well-known refrain acknowledging that they probably wouldn’t even have been invited to join the group had they been lucky enough to survive admission to Yale these days.
I also bought the latest CD, The Chase, which my daughter and I listened to on the drive home. Following in the recent tradition of flawlessly sung and produced recordings, this one will please anyone with an appreciation for the genre. Especially notable is revival of Yoshi Waterhouse ’95’sarrangement of Tears for Fears’ “I Believe,” and an excellent recording of Sam Tsui’s version of “What a Good Boy.” The Chase can be purchased by emailing Brandon Hayse, email@example.com, via iTunes, or at the doox website (http://dukesmen.com).
And this was before they tapped those six new voices. Looks like another spectacular year, which I for one plan to follow closely.”
–Tom Bulleit ’79
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.)
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.)
The Duke’s Men recently concluded another successful rush, and tapped some wonderful freshman with very strange names. Shown, left to right in the front, are:
Jackson Thea ’15 (Tenor 2) – Lexington MA
Jamie Bogyo ’15 (Baritone) – New York NY
Elliah Heifetz ’15 (Bass) – Ambler PA
Jake van Leer ’15 (Tenor 1) – Hanover NH
DJ Stanfill ’15 (Baritone) – Manhattan Beach CA
Derwin Aikens ’15 (Bass) – Los Angeles CA
As Chaplain Alex Caron ’13 notes, “They’re all dope” (sic). Alex also remarks, “We cleaned up during rush. I know that this isn’t the point but all the other groups have saaad tap classes. Sorry bout’cha.”
For the mathematically inclined (a.k.a Jeff Brock ’92): this year’s group will in fact be the 60th group, but someone from the Founders and First Followers (F&FFs) will have to weigh in on when the group first participated in a (the?) tap process of Rush.
Dear Duke’s Men Alumni,
Also: we are now in the planning stages of our Winter and Spring Tours. From December 31st – January 7th, we will be inFlorida (Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and the surrounding areas), and from March 2nd – March 18th, we will be in Southern California. In organizing these tours, the group hopes that the alumni will offer assistance in a few different ways:
- Performance Ideas and Contacts: If you know of schools, businesses, friends, or venues that might be interested in hiring the group to perform, please pass on ideas and contact information.
- Housing: If you are able to host group members in your house, apartment, studio, front lawn (wherever), please let us
- Organizing an alumni meet up: Some of our most memorable experiences as a group in the past couple years have been alumni gatherings in New York City, San Francisco, and most recently, the Berkshires. We’re interested in organizing alumni events in both Florida and California, but we would love some assistance in planning. If this is something you’d like to help organize, we would love to work with you.
The entire jam is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/mikefayette/search?query=spring
1. Beatles Medley
2. Gone / Alex Fayette ’12
3. Quickest Road / Brandon Hayse ’13
4. Ain’t No Sunshine / Nimal Eames-Scott ’14
5. Intro: we are the Duke’s Men
6. City of Blinding Lights / Reuben Hendler ’13
7. She’s Always a Woman / Henry Gottfried ’13
8. The Oak and the Ash
9. Big White Room / Alex Ratner ’14
10. Bridge over Troubled Waters / Michael Blume ’12
11. Flying Home / Terrence Chin-Loy ’14
12. I Want You Back / Benji Goldsmith ’14
13. Intro: Alumni Skit
14. motherless child
15. Coming Home
16. Carolina in My Mind
17. And so it goes
18. Duke’s place
19. I’ll back you up
20. This woman’s work
22. Good boy
23. Let it be