The Night Owls are Vassar’s oldest a cappella group and the United States’ oldest continuous all-female a cappella group.
According to legend, the Night Owls were born during the polio epidemic of 1942, when the entire student community was quarantined. No one was allowed to leave her dorm except to attend classes. Socials were cancelled, tea in the Rose Parlor was abandoned – Vassar traditions were foregone. In the midst of all this turmoil, sixteen intrepid young women threw caution to the wind. Dressed in black, they broke out of their dorms and met secretly in the basement of the library where they sang late into the night. Now, almost 70 years later, we continue to sing in all black in honor of our sixteen founding members. From traditional jazz classics to rock, 80s pop, and R&B, our repertoire continues to evolve while retaining our roots.* We hope that years from now there will still be Night Owls – dressed in black and singing their hearts out.
*Our influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, and Adele.
- Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (Baltimore, MD)
- Annapolis Naval Academy
- Vassar Club of Washington, DC
- Brighton Gardens Assisted Living Homes (Baltimore, MD)
- Wedding Ceremony of an Owl Alum in the Vassar Chapel
- Vassar Brothers Medical Center Diamond Gala at Hyde Park, NY
- Elementary and middle school workshops in Mississippi, Alabama, and Connecticut
- Street performance in New York and New Orleans
- Opened for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band