The Yale Alley Cats Kick Off 2010

by Erin Anderson, editor

Just as the school year got rolling again, Josh Evans ’08 returned to his old school to perform with the a cappella music group the Yale Alley Cats. The Ivy League crew sang everything from Peter Gabriel to Lady Gaga in their extremely entertaining show, which featured acting, dancing and miming almost as much as music.

It was a jam-packed day for the troupe, as they visited all three schools throughout the day and held workshops with both the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Grade 8 Choir.

“The great thing about our repertoire is that it’s so diverse, we can sing for any audience,” says Josh after I sit down with him following his Senior School performance. Now in his second year studying English and cognitive science at Yale, the Victoria native is pleased with where he’s ended up.

“I’m so happy there,” says Josh. “The professors, the material – it’s such an amazing place to be.”

In addition to his studies, Josh is involved with sustainable agriculture, and is still considering whether to pursue that as a career, or to enrol at a theatre conservatory and further expand on his performing arts background. During his time at SMUS, Josh played Othello in After Juliet and the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, and lent to his voice to many of our musical groups.

“I have a lot of gratitude to people here,” he says of his time at SMUS. “All of the experiences, the enrichment, not only made me grow as a musician, but showed me the possibilities that were out there.”

Though he and his fellow vocalists sometimes struggle to balance the demands of the Alley Cats with their studies, jobs and personal lives, Josh considers the time put into the group well worth it. “It’s not a chore,” he says. “It’s a rejuvenating experience.”

The group spends about two months of the year touring around the world during school breaks, and for their visit to Victoria, Josh took the role of tour manager, booking venues and planning the itinerary. For Josh, travelling with the Alley Cats is part of his education and part of the Yale experience.

“It’s not just about learning the music, it’s learning the history,” he says. “It’s a brotherhood.”

The Yale Alley Cats will cap off their annual winter tour with a sold-out show at UVic tomorrow night, so if you missed the chance to see them, you can check out their website to hear some of their songs, watch videos of their past performances, and buy their CD.


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