Hangovers note 50th anniversary with Nov. 10 concert

After a half-century singing songs you know, the Cornell Hangovers offer a harmonic convergence to celebrate their golden anniversary. The group’s Fall Tonic concert will be Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at Bailey Hall

“The Hangovers keep getting better and better. They’re so musically sophisticated, it’s been a pleasure to watch the evolution over these 50 years,” said Rick Dehmel ’68, a founding member of the Hangovers’ and the first musical director, who will return to Ithaca for the celebration.

Founded in 1968, the Cornell Hangovers are the subset of the Cornell University Glee Club; their repertoire comprises a cappella renditions of popular songs.

Generally, the Hangovers keep their sets shrouded in mystery, but they will sing a Simon and Garfunkel medley, arranged by musical director Drake Eshleman ’20 and Brady Kellum ’20. When Art Garfunkel performed at Ithaca’s State Theater in May, the Hangovers serenaded him with the medley. “When we finished our performance, [Garfunkel] said, ‘What could be more perfect?’” said Hangovers President Tommy Strawderman ’19.

Other songs in the concert will include old favorites like “You Got a ‘C,’” a Calypso-style arrangement by Justin Vitanza ’07 and written by Ben Rosenfield ’09, Adam Piel ’09, Oren Berman ’08 and Vitanza. The song was nominated by the Contemporary A Cappella Society for Best Humor Song in 2008.

The group will reprise “Facetime,” written and arranged by Phil Hess ’82. “It’s the first totally original Hangs song,” said Strawderman. “It was wildly popular on campus [in the 1980s] ... The lyrics take a nostalgic, humorous look into some of the most iconic and treasured Cornellian experiences.”

Nearly 150 Hangovers alumni plan to return for the celebration. Most of the original Hangovers will return for the upcoming concert. In addition to Dehmel, they are Bob Anspach ’70, George Ecker ’64, Fred Hoeflinger ’69, Art Neal ’68, Mike Newman ’64, John Nicolls ’72, Barry Rose ’72 and Sandy Shaw, Ph.D. ’75.

Originally, members were fifth-year students, hanging over to complete their education. But the ensemble’s double entendre name is not lost on concert or CD titles. Previous albums include “Behind Bars” (1989), “On the Rocks” (1994), “Spirits” (1998), “Shot in the Dark” (2001) and “Final Draught (2013).

The Hangovers made their first solo tour to Bermuda in 1971. Since then, they’ve toured Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Holland, Malaysia, France, Spain, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle. 

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