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Yale Russian Chorus: 1960-69

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February 1960: Reprint: Ivy Magazine article

YRC member William Alston wrote an article for Ivy Magazine - a magazine written by and circulated among students in the Ivy League universities - based on the second trip to the USSR in 1959, again stressing the YRC's interest in cultural exchange. In the 1980s Alston and fellow YRC chorister Robert Keeney began the annual YRC alumni weekend concert and banquet events that have continued ever since, with concerts in Springfield MA, Purchase NY, Salisbury CT, and Weston CT. These concerts and gatherings have enabled the YRC alumni to stay in close touch.

March 1960: Letter - U.S. Senate Hubert Humphrey

The president of the YRC, Ken Dove, received a letter from Senator Hubert Humphrey endorsing the Chorus's activities in cultural exchange. It proved very helpful in fund-raising for the third trip to the USSR in the summer of 1960.

May 1960: Poster - Sprague

In May 1960 the YRC organized the Inter-University Conference on Cultural Exchange with speakers from Yale, other universities and the State Department, along with seminars led by YRC members. Closing the conference was a concert in Sprague Hall that included the jazz-duo of Willie Ruff and Dwike Mitchell of the Music School, who had accompanied the YRC on its second tour to the USSR in 1959 and had given an impromptu jazz concert in Moscow's Tchaikowsky Hall.

April 1961: Poster - Sprague

The YRC started giving a major annual concert in either Sprague Hall or Woolsey Hall. This poster is an early example of the "blue domes" motif that recurs in many YRC posters and programs in the 1960s and 1970s.

November 1961: Program - Peace Corps rally with Coffin

The Chorus often sang in support of causes it endorsed. William Sloan Coffin Jr. was Yale Chaplain from 1958 to 1975 and sang with the YRC intermittently in the mid 1950s.

August 1962: Newspaper clipping - New York Times

During its fourth trip to Europe and the USSR during the summer of 1962, the YRC was in Berlin in August to sing a formal concert. A young East German, Peter Fechter, was shot trying to cross the Berlin Wall. East German guards would not allow him any medical attention and he died of his wounds where he fell after several hours of agony in the sight of all. The Chorus sang Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus at the Wall as a memorial to Fechter a few days after the incident.

June 1963: Poster/flyer - Salle Pleyel, Paris

During its fifth tour to Europe in the summer of 1963 the YRC continued giving large formal concerts in Western Europe and informal concerts in the USSR.

July 1963: Photo, 8x10

The YRC, conducted here by John Stewart, singing "Joshua fit de battle of Jericho" on Red Square in July 1963. The Kremlin walls didn't fall.

November 1964: Photo

Averell Harriman, who repeatedly expressed his support for the YRC's activities in cultural exchange, meets with YRC assistant conductor Dan Gsovski to discuss the YRC's activities and plans before a concert in Washington in November 1964.

February 1965: Photo, 8x10

This photograph of the founding director of the YRC, Denis Mickiewicz, was taken at a concert in Sanders Theatre at Harvard in February 1965.

April 1969: Poster - Coffin Defense Fund benefit

Yale Chaplain William Sloane Coffin Jr. was indicted in January 1968, along with a number of other activists (incl. Dr. Benjamin Spock), for anti-Vietnam War activities. The YRC invited Theodore Bikel and Yale's Augmented 7 to join in a benefit concert to raise money for the Coffin Defense Fund. Coffin had sung with the YRC in the mid 1950s.