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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.

Recent Press:

The Slavs of 2013-14! Not pictured: Justine Cefalu, Nathalie Levine.

The Slavs of 2013-14! Not pictured: Justine Cefalu, Nathalie Levine.

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.

Justine Cefalu, Anna Rose Gable, and Nathalie Levine before our annual winter concert!

Justine Cefalu, Anna Rose Gable, and Nathalie Levine before our annual winter concert!

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.

Claire Gottsegen ('17), Charlotte Finegold ('17), and Amanda Crego-Emley ('17).

Claire Gottsegen (’17), Charlotte Finegold (’17), and Amanda Crego-Emley (’17).

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