Yale alums perform viral ‘Call Me Maybe’ rendition on ‘The Today Show’

A choral/orchestral arrangement of Carly Rae Jepson’s pop song “Call Me Maybe” performed by alumni of the Institute of  Sacred Music and School of Music has gone viral on YouTube. 

Colin Britt ’10 M.F.A., now director of music for Marquand Chapel, had the idea of putting a choral/classical spin on the hit tune after a summer of listening to it wherever he went. Britt’s classical treatment of the song for chorus and orchestra wasn’t his first foray into reinventing a popular tune, he said, but this time everything came together serendipitously.

His friend and former classmate Arianne Abela ’10 M.F.A. got involved. On Labor Day weekend, with nothing better to do, according to Abela, they got several dozen of their friends together — most of them fellow ISM alums — to perform the piece, under Abela’s baton.

“We just did it for fun,” says Britt, who was completely surprised by the success of the video on YouTube, which to date has garnered well over one million views.

The all-volunteer pickup ensemble that Brit and Abela put together now has a name, “3Penny Chorus and Orchestra,” and their first public gig, appearing live on “The Today Show” on Sept. 21.

Britt and Abela say they’re thrilled by their success — and so are their parents. “My mother is throwing a viewing party,” says Britt. Abela’s parents are flying from California to attend the show.

The alumni hope to reap far greater rewards from the YouTube sensation than fortune and fame. They are pleased that the song’s popularity has already inspired some listeners to think of joining choral groups, and they say that whatever profit they might some day reap from future endeavors, they intend to donate to charity.