The Start of it All
In June of 1954, Dr. Oakleigh "Oak" Thorne (the previous musical director, or "pitchpipe", of the Yale Whiffenpoofs) moved to Boulder to receive his doctorate in Biology at the University of Colorado. The Whiffenpoofs, founded in 1909, are the oldest a cappella group in the nation. In 1961, after a performance in Denver for the Yale Association, Oak brought the Whiffenpoofs to Macky Auditorium on CU's campus to sing. When Oak introduced the group he suggested that someone should start an a cappella group on CU's campus as well.
A year later the Whiffenpoofs were brought back to Boulder by Oak, and again he challenged the audience to start their own collegiate group. Shortly after the concert, Don Grusin and Roger Nelson, two CU undergraduates, approached Oak to ask if he could help them start such a group. Delighted, Oak provided guidance and arrangements for the singers. By September of 1962, the three musicians had formed an octet under the name "The BUFFoons," a homage to the CU Buffs.
The BUFFoons produced their first LP titled "Songs by the CU BUFFoons" in 1963. The album cover features a scene all too familiar to members of the group: a lone girl is serenaded from afar by the sharply dressed ensemble. Since the release of "Songs by the CU BUFFoons", the group has produced dozens of albums over the last 52 years, all of which can be found in the catalogs of the CU music library. The newest albums are available for purchase in our new online store.