About the Chorus
The Yale Slavic Chorus is a performing group of women from a variety of cultural and academic backgrounds who share a common interest in Slavic music. Most members of the Chorus had very little experience with or exposure to Slavic Music before coming to Yale, and most members do not speak any of the languages we sing in.
Although primarily an undergraduate group, the Slavs, as we are affectionately known around Yale’s campus, also include other members of the Yale community. The Slavic Chorus has always been dedicated to maintaining musical vigor, excitement, and fellowship among members and with our audience.
- We made Macedonian press! Check out our performance for President Gjorge Ivanov. (2014)
- Read the Yale Daily News | WEEKEND article about the Slavs published in March 2012.
- Spot us on the list of “100 Things that are Actually Cool at Yale” in the Bullblog Top 100! (2011)
The Slavs of 2014-2015. Not pictured: Claire Gottsegen.
A Brief History
The Chorus was founded in 1969, the first year of undergraduate co-education at Yale, and was the first all-women’s group on Campus. It was originally conducted by William Robbins, Jr., then a music major in Yale College and a member of the all-male Yale Russian Chorus. In 2009, the Chorus celebrated our 40th anniversary with a reunion concert that drew alumnae from all across the globe.
Our Method and Music
We are an entirely student-run, student-directed ensemble. We transcribe and arrange much of our own music, but are always looking for new songs to sing. We also learn much of our music via an oral tradition and by listening to original source recordings. Most of our music comes from Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Russia and Ukraine. During our performances, we strive to maintain the original mode of presentation, which often includes dissonant harmonies, unusual rhythms, and distinctive vocal qualities which make Slavic and Eastern European music unique and exciting. We have also begun adding more traditional folk dances into our performances.