Proof of the Pudding is Yale’s second-oldest all-female undergraduate a cappella group. Adrianne Benton Furniss ‘76 and Virginia Welles ’76 established the group in 1975, a mere six years after women were first admitted to Yale. The name “Proof of the Pudding” is taken from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote: “The proof of the pudding is in the tasting.” Given the male-dominated world of Yale in 1975, the founding members of “Proof” had to prove themselves as veritable musicians. The name urged people not to dismiss Proof before they heard them sing. Their deep commitment and musicality was a recipe for instant success, setting the bar high for the next 40 years.
Proof has its roots in jazz and swing, but has more recently expanded their repertoire to include a variety of music. Since its beginning, Proof has been known for its vibrant sound, enthusiastic performance style, and energetic repertoire. It has toured both domestically (most recently in Birmingham, Portland, Boston, and Chicago) and internationally (including Costa Rica, France, and India). Proof has also recorded a number of albums, releasing a new album every three to four years. Recent releases include Paint the Town (2010) and Whisper Low (2014). Our latest album, Beyond the Sea, was released in January 2017 - give it a listen on our Music page!
Proof’s music is, for the most part, arranged by members of the group; every song is tailored specifically for the strengths and personality of the present vocalists. Proof’s current repertoire calls upon famous female performers such as Ella Fitzgerald and the Andrew Sisters, as well as jazz standards like “Blue Skies” and “In the Mood,” and musical classics like “All That Jazz.” But new arrangements yield new surprises – audiences should be on the lookout for Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me,” “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” (from the movie Hercules), and other more contemporary numbers.
Above all, Proof is dedicated to both musical excellence and the bonds of sisterhood and friendship it creates. Alexandra Slade (Pitchpipe, ’13-’14) writes, "We sing because of the connection it allows, the purity of production. We are taking our minds, our bodies and pulling them together with our sisters. We are women who will sing and who will provoke in you a memory, an emotion, a need to dance, to sing along, to clutch the hand of the ones you love and remind yourself ‘this is what it means to be alive."
Michelle Yancich, Proof Historian '14-'15