Photo by Dylan RocheWhile they stayed in Maryland for their recent Baltimore performance, the Whiffenpoofs of Yale — comprising 14 members in total (two not pictured) — stayed in Severna Park at the childhood home of member Solon Snider (front right).
Severna Park Graduate Returns To Maryland With World-Renowned Whiffenpoofs A Cappella Group
Severna Park native and Yale University student Solon Snider is a Renaissance performer and a natural onstage. He has acted in dozens of shows and played instruments in pit orchestras, school orchestras and the Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) orchestra. He has sung in choirs such as the vocal ensemble at Severna Park High School; All-County, state and Eastern choirs; and even written music. Snider has also performed in shows at the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis and AACC. He’s attended Peabody Preparatory’s Annapolis and Baltimore branches, where he studied music theory, piano and composition. He’s a trained dancer, vocalist and multi-instrument musician. And, that was just when he lived in Severna Park.
While Snider’s resume is as long as a chorus line, he’s only just getting started. After graduating from Severna Park High School in 2013, Snider moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to attend the prestigious Yale University, where he is double majoring in music and theater studies.
After completing his junior year, Snider auditioned for the famous Whiffenpoofs, the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, which was founded in 1909 at Yale. Members of the group are excused for one year to perform with the group. They are able to fund their touring year through CD sales and by performing more than 250 concerts in 25 countries. Snider is also the group’s musical director.
Snider entered Yale with the hopes of joining the Whiffenpoofs. Now that he’s a member? “It’s a dream come true, most fun I’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s wonderful to share music with diverse audiences around the world.”
Among all of the people he’s met and the places he’s visited, Snider said he’s still amazed at the power music has to connect people in meaningful ways.
“Recently, a 90-year-old man came up to me and said that he cried through our rendition of ‘I’ll Be Seeing You,’ a song that was popular while he was fighting in World War II,” said Snider. “He and fellow soldiers would listen to that song and always remember his wife. Those are the types of moments that make airport security lines, jetlag and exhaustion from several consecutive performance days worthwhile!”
The Whiffenpoofs kicked off their 37-day, two-continent spring 2017 concert tour on March 2 in Philadelphia, followed by performances at First & Franklin Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Chevy Chase and Arlington, Virginia. Before heading to the West Coast, as is tradition, the Whiffenpoofs performed concerts in the hometowns of their members, including a March 6 stop at Severna Park High School and another in Huntingtown, Maryland.
“I haven’t had a chance to see the new high school yet,” said Snider, “so I am very excited to sing for the music classes and see the new setup.”
While in Severna Park, the entire group will stay at the Snider family home. “As for having 14 boys stay at our house for a few nights, I’m actually looking forward to it!” said Terra Ziporyn Snider. “Solon is our baby, so as empty nesters, we’re happy to have the house filled with noise and chaos again. We know that it will be quiet and clean soon enough anyway.
“Of course, I might request that they sing for their supper, but I suspect I won’t even have to ask!”
After Snider graduates from college, he plans to pursue composition and music direction in New York City. To learn more about the Whiffenpoofs of Yale University, visit www.whiffenpoofs.com.