Skip to content

The Slavs of 2011-2012

Keren Abreu (TC ’15)
Voice Part: Soprano II
Hometown: New York, New York

Keren is the cutest of the cute, she puts the Prek in Prekhvrukna Ptichka, the Pik in Pikachu, and she can do runs in Bulgarian like no other. When she is not singing with Slavs, she is singing with Shades, or just singing to herself! She was born on the 311th day of the year, the same day (that many years earlier) Turkey adopted their National Constitution. Coincidence? I think not.

Once she rescued a baby dolphin who had lost its way. When the dolphin saw her, they grinned to each other, and were best friends for life. In 2015, Slav paper doll Keren will reach the shelves, and there will be a frenzy to see who can get the limited edition KEREN!! Keren loves slavs, and slavs love Keren.

Major: French
Favorite Slavs Song: Kaval Sviri
Favorite Cheese: Cheddar


Nila Bala (LAW ’12)
Voice Part: Soprano I
Positions Held: Tour Manager (’10-’11)
Hometown: Fremont, California
Bio: [This profile is under investigation by the KGB. Na Zdrave!]
Favorite Slavs Song: Bozha Zvezda
Favorite Cheese: Goat


Justine Cefalu (BK ’15)
Voice Part: Alto I
Positions Held: Business Manager (’12-’13)
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

This beautiful female comes from Cincinnati Ohio–the land of Jerry Springer, George Clooney, and Sarah Jessica Parker! Her hobbies include being smiley, singing Irish folk songs, and making the world a better place. She enjoys home-grown foods, long walks in thick grasses, sunny days, and playing stringed instruments. Justine and her twin sister Anna Rose often delight in the beautiful simplicities of every day life. Justine owns many beautiful patterned socks and tights. You might as well call her Yovanitsa.

Fun Fact: The beautiful dreads that you see on Justine’s head today were the second attempt at dreading her hair. The first attempt simply slipped out of her silky smooth hair!


Cynthia Deng (JE ’14)
Voice Part: Alto I
Hometown: Hamden, CT
Major: Architecture

In olden times, the poets wrote of maids with charm and class,
But now the Slavic Chorus has
A girl who’ll kick their… butts.
She’s tall and fair, with raven hair,
A bastion of style.
In science and math she does excel
Giving everything, a smile.
Old Jonathan Edwards would be proud
Of such a talented girl,
But back in the day, if he heard she’d got in
You know he’d probably hurl.

Favorite Slav Song: Dragana I Slaveya… and Prekhvrukna Ptichka
Favorite Cheese: Manchego (Don Quixote’s favorite cheese too!)


Abby Emerson (SM ’14)
Voice Part: Soprano I
Positions: Tour Manager (’10-’11), Publicity Manager (’11-’12), Web Czarina (’11-’12)
Hometown: Haverford, Pennsylvania
Major: Environmental Studies

Abigail Emerson was once a Soviet Spy. The CIA doesn’t know this, so don’t tell them. They are still looking for her. She once stole the Nuclear Launch codes, ya see, and they really want those back, in case the commies blow up all the nukes, and the entire world ends in a nuclear winter.

But it’s OK. Abby defected a while back (generally considered to be “good for the jews”). She has since spent her time camping in Vermont, bopping about Philadelphia, and, most excitingly, every now and then attending a class at Yale. When not pretending she can’t speak Russian (in order to divert the CIA), Abby enjoys hopping on one foot, pretending to be a nice doggy, worshipping Ofra Chaza, and preparing how best to make a Lord of the Rings reference in Slavs Rehearsals. Often all at once. When pretending not to be a Slav (in order to divert her Slavfanboys) she sometimes engages in “theater”–acting, directing, stage managing, costuming, makeuping, onewomanshowing…the usual.

But who is the real Abby? The Soviet Spy? The Slav? The LOTRfangirl? Who can tell. We get lost in her smile and infectious laughter quite regularly. You should too.

Favorite Slavs Song: Shto Garit
Favorite Cheese: Brie
Fun Fact: In Chinese, there is a special four character phrase (成语) that describes the curl of Abby’s hair.


Anna Rose Gable (PC ’13)
Voice Part: Alto I
Positions: Tour Manager (’09-’10), Business Manager (’10-’11), Musical Director (’11-’12)
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia
Major: Environmental Studies

Once upon a 1990, in a far away land, a woman looked up at her husband, her hand on her belly, and said, “Honey, I think we’re going to have an ARG!” And so they did. The ARG grew in health and splendor, running around the state of Georgia with songs on her lips and mud on her hands. She learned many things as she wandered: about worms and compost and dirt, about music theory, General Ecology, Russian, the meaning of friendship, and magical golden accordions. This bright-haired enchantress now uses her awesome and terrible powers as the musical director (“Pitch”) of the Yale Slavic Chorus,member of Yale STEP, Konjo dancer, farmer, and friend to everyone who meets her.

Favorite Slavs Song: Dragana i Slaveya
Favorite Cheese: Ricotta
Fun Fact: Anna Rose taught herself Russian.


Leslie Hiciano (BR ’14)
Voice Part: Alto II
Hometown: New York, New York
Major: She wants to be an astronaut.

Leslie was born in an Edward Hopper painting, but grew up in a Norman Rockwell magazine cover. She spent her childhood days on the streets of Manhattan, playing whiffleball in the streets and shooting short independent films which would later be displayed in community theaters to audiences of 20. During her time spent in the city, she interned (read: hung around the kitchen) with Mario Batali, learning how to make a smorgasbord of gourmet Italian dishes. It is here she also became an expert in singing while chopping onions, a skill she takes with her to Yale, where she sings in both the Yale Women’s Slavic Chorus and Tangled Up In Blue. In short, Leslie is awesome.

Favorite Slavs Song: Prekvhrukna Ptichka
Favorite Cheese: Provolone


Chihiro Isozaki (TC ’15)
Voice Part: Soprano I
Positions: Tour Manager (’11-’12)
Hometown: Singapore

Chihiro spent her summer literally cruising the world. That’s right, she’s so awesome that she won a writing contest and was rewarded by getting room and board aboard an international cruise all summer long. Yes, we’re all jealous, too.

Favorite Slavs Song: Unknown

Favorite Cheese: Chevre

Major: Undeclared


Name: Rachel LaViola (PC ’12)
Voice Part: Soprano II
Positions: Tour Manager (’10-’11)
Hometown: Frisco, Texas
Major: Modern Middle Eastern Studies

Rachel’s first foray into the world of performing was during the talent section of the Dallas-area Fantastic Hair Showcase, in which she performed an hour of original sketch comedy all about pigtails.  After winning the “Most likely to smile during the entire midterm season” recognition her freshman year, Rachel decided to thank all of Yale in a musical tribute that has since become a Youtube sensation.  Rachel’s upcoming one-woman show promises to include seven different musical styles as well as Arabic epic poetry.

Favorite Slavs Song: Ne Po Pogrebu Bochonoche Kataetsja
Favorite Cheese: Paneer


Sarah Larsson (BR ’12)

Voice Part: Alto II
Positions: Business Manager (’10-’12), Tour Manager (’11-’12), Slav House floor-sweeper (’10-’12)
Hometown: Excelsior, Minnesota
Major: Anthropology

The inimitable Sarah Larsson is a force of nature: she is an Anthropology student in the class of 2012, and a master in finding beauty in everything around her. She delights in sharing joy with everyone nearby (and all their friends). Not only can she see the best in everyone, but she’s also determined to bring it out. She will probably save the world someday: in her free time, she also sings tenor in Asempa and dances with Konjo. She can sometimes be found playing in leaves on Old Campus, and is perhaps at her most beautiful with a few leaves still stuck in her hair.

Favorite Slavs Song: Shto Mi e Milo
Favorite Cheese: Gouda
Fun Fact: Sometimes she makes cheesecake at midnight. True story.


Alexandria Marino (BR ’05, MED ’15)
Voice Part: Soprano II
Positions: Returning alumna Slav, Business Manager (’12-’13)
Hometown: Bridgeport, West Virginia

Alexandria is a medical student at Yale, but she was also an undergraduate here. We were so happy to have her return, we decided to give her the extra challenge of learning an entirely new voice part! She’s so multi-talented she zoomed through the learning. She also sings with the Yale Camerata. She has beautiful cats. She is beautiful. And she’s engaged!

Favorite Slavs Song: Israslo Durvo Visoko

Favorite Cheese: Gruyere

Major: No, no, she’s a Med student! She’s done with that whole college thing.


Katy Naples-Mitchell (SY ’13)
Voice Part: Soprano II
Positions: Goatherd (’10-’12), Poster Czarina (’10-’12)
Hometown: Highland Park, New Jersey
Major: Political Science, concentrating in Human Rights

K-K-K-Katy, a popular WWI era song published in 1918, was preemptively written about our very own KNM, whose lucky number and birthday happen to be 18. The song is perfect for her. She loves the moon, she loves the shore, and she loves kitchens. She particularly enjoys chopping onions. She also sings in a variety of other vocal ensembles on campus, including Redhot & Blue and Whim ‘n Rhythm.

Favorite Slavs Song: A Što Čemo, Procuse Moma Nedelya

Favorite Cheese: Smoked Gouda

Major: Political Science, concentrating in Human Rights


Celia Rostow (JE ’13)
Voice Part: Soprano

Positions Held: Publicity Manager (’10-’11), Web-czarina (’10-’11), Assistant Business Manager (’11-’12)
Hometown: New York, New York
Major: History of Magic

In the depths of the winter of ’11, Celia introduced the Slavs to snow ice cream, and at that point we discovered her deep devotion to Vermont and the proper appreciation of maple syrup. When she’s not fending off bears in the northland, Celia likes to study the history and languages of formerly Communist countries. She has been known to accumulate massive quantities of Slavs music in her iTunes, but always shares the wealth with her comrades. Celia holds down the sop section with the famous (and fabulous) Erghen Deda head flip, always making sure to get the hair out of her eyes in time to serve her capacity as Best Assistant Business Manager Ever. Outside of Slavs, Celia sings her heart out in a whole other host of languages with Magevet — Yale’s fist, best, and only Jewish a cappella singing group. We wonder if she knits backwards at those rehearsals.

Favorite Slavs Song: Kon Bjezhit
Favorite Cheese: Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
Fun Fact: Celia didn’t like eggs until she joined Slavs.


Alexandra Turrini (SY ’13)

Voice Part: Soprano II, Alto I, Alto II, (Anything, Really)
Hometown: Mendham, New Jersey
Major: Physics

Alex is a physicist and a fashionista. She wears bright yellow pumps and she knows the acceleration of gravity like the back of her hand. She has spent the past two summers working at CERN. That’s right, people. She’s a genius. She’s also excellent at drawing chalk nightingales on the floors of WLH and biking for long distances. In her spare time, she sings with the New Blue of Yale–the other all women’s vocal ensemble founded in 1969, in the same week in which we Slavs were founded. And she hopes to introduce some Finnish songs into our repertoire.

Favorite Slavs Song: Trenke Todorke
Favorite Cheese: Caramelized Cheddar


Laura Wellman (DC ’13)
Voice Part: Soprano I
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Laura hit the big-time when her final project in freshman Chinese—a musical tribute to Yale Recycling entirely in Mandarin—went viral on Youtube. What most people did not know at the time was that Laura was hired by Yale Recycling specifically for her musical prowess: the manager spotted Laura in the last stages of a vocal face-off with a nightingale, and looks to Laura as a consultant on the program’s image among avian residents of New Haven. Coincidentally, Laura’s process of recruitment into the Slavic Chorus was remarkably similar.

Fun fact: Laura brushes her teeth with a bottle of rakija


Ayanna Woods (SM ’14)

Voice Part: Alto II
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

This girl. When she’s not at Slavs, she rocks everyone’s socks in Steppin’ Out, Glee Club, Gilbert and Sullivan shows, or her own band. A true musician who analyzes songs to figure out why they are so good, dances to everything, writes and records her own music. Not to mention she is hilarious. Also, the flavor of gum you are chewing might have been invented by Ayanna–resident Wrigley flavor producer. I know you all want her, but she is in a relationship with Simon, her beloved ukelele.

Fun Fact: She can throat sing.


Thank you for reading this far.

%d bloggers like this: