HomeDin & Tonics

School or Affiliation: Harvard
Cambridge, MA

Din & Tonics

The Harvard Din & Tonics are Harvard University’s signature all-male a cappella singing group, known around the world for their rich tradition of musical and performance excellence. With a repertoire centered on the American jazz standards of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, these Harvard gentlemen — who perform in white tie, tails, and lime green socks — have an enviable reputation for their impeccable musicality, snappy choreography, and hilarious antics.

The group performs for sellout crowds in Boston and around the country for world-class hotels, major motion pictures, professional sports organizations, and renowned public figures. Moreover, the "Dins" (as they are affectionately known) embark every other summer on a 10-week, 20+ country world tour, sharing their unique form of entertainment - "a cappella...with a twist" - with audiences worldwide.

The Din & Tonics have existed in several incarnations during their history, beginning as the Dunster Dunces in 1946. The Dunces—an old-fashioned, barbershop-inspired singing group—performed around the Harvard campus until the 1960s, when they disbanded, leaving behind a treasury of recordings and jazz arrangements that would subsequently form the basis of the Din & Tonics’ repertoire.

A decade later, in 1979, a small group of undergraduates founded a new a cappella singing group at the Phillips Brooks House in Harvard Yard. Formed as a public service activity of the Phillips Brooks House Association—Harvard University’s central service organization—The Harvard Din & Tonics began to perform for the university community and local charitable organizations.

After one particularly successful performance in the Dunster House dining hall, an enthusiastic tutor presented the group with the Dunces’ abandoned collection of sheet music and recordings. The rest, as they say, is history.


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