The Harvard Callbacks
The Callbacks are one of Harvard College's premier all gender a Cappella groups. Focusing on a diverse and dynamic repertoire that incorporates songs ranging from modern pop to soulful indie to classic favorites, we get to perform on campus and around the world while making music with our Callbacks family. We've received national recognition for our unique and challenging arrangements (6 Best Arrangement awards from the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella), impressive soloists (2 Best Soloist awards from the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and 3 Best Solo nominations from the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America), and high quality of recording (consistent selection for Voices Only and Best of College A Cappella compilation CDs). The Callbacks now tour annually to New York City, travel internationally every January (in 2020 we went to London and Barcelona), perform at functions in and around the Boston area, and hold a concert in Harvard’s historic Sanders Theater each semester. Beyond the music and the performances, however, we maintain our passion for what we do by focusing on building strong friendship and community amongst our members.
The Callbacks have a open, competitive audition process. No prior music experience is necessary, nor are you required to prepare anything for the auditions other than the verse and chorus for a song of your choice! We'll begin with a 15-minute preliminary audition, then in the following week we'll have several rounds of callbacks for those who make it past the first round. Each callback round will involve learning some of our music, in addition to singing a short solo (some of which we will assign, some of which you will get to choose). Again, no prior experience is required, and anyone is welcome to audition.
The Harvard Callbacks is one of the most fun and engaging groups that I’m involved in on campus! Throughout the year we arrange and sing songs together, go on tour all across the world (This year was Barcelona and London!), and become best friends with each other through all of our rehearsals and social outings. We also have a so many amazing alumni that support us through our various shows and help us through life!—Crystal Wang '23
Auditioning for the Harvard Callbacks this fall has been one of the best decisions I have made at Harvard this fall. As part of this group I have been able to sing with incredibly talented people on Sanders Theatre and across the globe. We perform at gigs all over the Boston area, sing at events, and have concerts on campus too! More importantly, though, I’ve met an extended family that will last for years to come. The Harvard Callbacks have been such a positive force in my life this fall and I can’t wait for three more years with them.—Lev Sandler '23
If I could tell my pre-frosh self about only one thing to look forward to as a Harvard freshman, no question, it’d be: the callbacks. I never saw myself auditioning for, let alone OBSESSING over, an acapella group before college, and even during my first few days here, I’ll admit it wasn’t something I saw myself doing. But I wouldn’t trade my time as a CB for anything in the world. Getting to travel the globe with some of the greatest humans on campus— singing and jamming to our favorite songs, and spending time in such a supportive, loving environment— I really cant say enough about it... I love my crazy cbs with my whole heart and feel so beyond lucky that I found a home like them on campus.—Riya Kapoor '23
I think that the fact that a person who rarely even sings in the shower could feel at home so quickly amidst some of the most talented individuals on campus speaks volumes to the character and the spirit of the Callbacks. From energizing rehearsals, exhilarating jams, to entertaining run-ins in the Yard (or Cabot Library), you won’t regret becoming a part of the family.—Jun-Yong Kim '23
I can’t say enough how much I love being a part of the Callbacks — whether we’re goofing around in rehearsal as we learn songs in preparation for our biannual jams or living in a hostel together in Barcelona on our winter tour, I’m so lucky to have found a family that is so encouraging to me and helps me grow both as a person and as a musician. I know that all the memories and bonds I’ve created with this family will stay with me forever, and I wear our signature CB blue with pride every time I go onstage.—Kat Zhang '23