The Night Owls are Vassar’s oldest a cappella group and the United States’ oldest continuous all-women’s 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.

Recent Gigs:

– Performance at the Brookdale Santa Monica Gardens nursing home

– Performance in MacArthur Park

– Workshops at The Windward School, Crossroads School, and Firebaugh High School in Los Angeles

– Performances at Occidental College and Pepperdine University

– Joint rehearsal and performance with Premiere, an all-women’s a cappella group based in Los Angeles and made up of college grads

– Performance at Norman and Brianna Lear’s home in Los Angeles

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