The Night Owls are Vassar’s oldest a cappella group and one of the oldest all-women’s a cappella groups in the United States.
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, 75 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, Beyoncé, and Adele.
– Performed at Bill Clinton’s second inauguration
– Starred alongside Zach Galifianakis on Comedy Central
– Led workshops at The Windward School, Crossroads School, and Firebaugh High School in Los Angeles
– Rehearsed and workshopped with Premiere, an all-women’s a cappella group based in Los Angeles
– Recorded and filmed a music video of “Sweet Dreams” by Joseph, received a shoutout from the band via Instagram
– Led workshops at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts
– Performed for the CBS News team and were broadcast over the radio