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The Smiffenpoofs

The Smiffenpoofs are one of several acappella groups on Smith College’s campus and are the oldest all-female collegiate acappella group in the country. Since the group’s inception in 1936, the Smiffenpoofs have sought to change the dynamics of collective singing in order to create an entertaining and enjoyable musical experience. Known by many as “the Poofs,” the group has a rich history of arranging and performing music from many different genres and time periods. The inspiration for The Poofs came from the Yale University Whiffenpoofs, an all-male singing group that happened to perform for a group of Smithies in 1936. In attendance were Sue Becton (‘38) and Jeanne Thayer (‘38), who, moved by the sounds of the Whiffenpoofs, set out to create a group of their own. The two became the co-founders of the Poofs, which is said to have been approved as an official musical group on campus by President William Alan Neilson on November 23, 1936. Decades later, the Poofs remain a strong force at Smith and have expanded their repertoire as well as their presence, both on and off campus. The Poofs travel throughout New England and beyond in order to share their passion with audiences of all kind, most often college students and Smith alumnae. With an impressive discography and performance resume, the Poofs have yet to waver in their musical ambitions. The group acquires new members each semester through auditions and hopes to continue the evolution of their sound and structure. The Poofs will celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2011.

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