To preserve and cultivate the art form of collegiate a cappella music, especially as it is practiced by the Princeton Katzenjammers, and also to build community around music and mirth.
ABOUT THE KATZENJAMMER FOUNDATION
The Katzenjammer Foundation consists of alumni of the Princeton Katzenjammers, a coed a cappella singing group at Princeton University. The Foundation supports the undergraduate Katzenjammers by lending expertise and institutional memory and with periodic donations to support tours, recording sessions, and other general expenses. After Katzenjammers graduate, the Foundation provides them connections to our growing body of Katzenjammer alumni, celebrating major reunions on campus every five years. The Foundation also acts as archivist for the history of Katzenjammer repertoire, rosters, and lore. In addition to these Katzenjammer-focused activities, the Foundation seeks more generally to promote the good will, social connections, self-governance, mutual support, and other virtues of group singing. As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to the Katzenjammer Foundation are tax deductible to the degree permitted by law.
ABOUT THE PRINCETON KATZENJAMMERS
The Princeton Katzenjammers were founded in 1973 by Peter Urquhart ’74 and Mimi Danly ’74: then the music directors of the Nassoons and the Tigerlilies, Princeton’s oldest all-male and all-female groups. From even the earliest days of the group, the Katzenjammer repertoire has spanned a wide range of genres, with arrangements of Beatles songs and a Bach keyboard prelude as some of the first contributions. The group continues to draw from jazz, pop, and classical music in its performances, with almost all the arrangements done by Katzenjammers. The Katzenjammers have throughout their long history maintained the highest standards of musicality, with several alumni going on to musical careers after graduation.
A STORIED HISTORY OF CO-ED COLLEGIATE A CAPPELLA
The Princeton Katzenjammers are the oldest co-ed collegiate a cappella group in the United States.
The messiness of history makes that proposition arguable, however. We’re aware of other collegiate groups that were founded earlier than the Katzenjammers’ founding date of 1973 that haven’t continuously maintained membership in the category of co-ed collegiate a cappella groups. That is, they either were single-sex, or they regularly used instruments for accompaniment, or they were defunct for a period of years during their history. Members of the Katzenjammers community have investigated on and off for decades without finding any older group that has always been co-ed, a cappella, and in existence. Mickey Rapkin, in his book Pitch Perfect—the nonfiction book that inspired the fictional movie series—recognizes the Katzenjammers as the oldest co-ed group.
If you’d like to have all the assumptions and qualifications spelled out explicitly, you could restate like this: “The Princeton Katzenjammers are the oldest continuously operating co-ed collegiate a cappella group founded as such in the United States.” We prefer the less verbose version.
LOOKING FOR THE CURRENT GROUP?
This is the Internet home of the Katzenjammer Foundation, an organization of alumni of the Princeton Katzenjammers. For information on the current Katzenjammers, please visit their website.