IN 1983, a handful of musically inclined students at Brown University joined forces (and vocal cords) together in song. Thus, the HIGHER KEYS was born. The group’s unique repertoire, originally comprising solely jazz tunes, soon evolved into an exciting mix of jazz and pop. Boasting in-house arrangements since the group’s inception, the Keys have shared their musical talents with audiences far and wide.


The original Higher Keys of 1983.
The original Higher Keys of 1983.

The first Higher Keys album, Taller Doors, was recorded in 1992. Since then, the group has followed up with releases, the most of recent of which, High Hats, debuted in the fall of 2012. Between recording sessions, the Keys travel regularly. Over winter and spring breaks, they have toured in and around Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, California, Vail, Orlando, the Northeast of the U.S., and most recently, in Athens, Greece. In 2011, the Keys toured L.A. and recorded their Gershwin Medley (arr. Drew Nobile ’07) on the 20th Century Fox sound stage. While tours are a means of entertaining audiences within a larger scope, they are also treasured for forming and reaffirming the tight bonds between group members.

The Higher Keys - Brown University's oldest co-ed a cappella group.
The Higher Keys – Brown University’s oldest co-ed a cappella group.

In the past, the Keys consistently participated in the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) as both competitors and hosts. The group competed in 2007, when it advanced to the New England semifinal round and ranked highest among all participating co-ed groups in the region. Most recently, in 2010, the Keys again made it to the ICCA semifinals.

The Keys of '07-08 perform a holiday concert.
The Keys of ’07-08 perform a holiday concert.

While The Higher Keys continually strive for musical excellence, performing is more of a vehicle for creating long-lasting bonds. As evidenced by the family atmosphere at the 25th Anniversary Reunion during the spring of 2008 and the 30th Anniversary Reunion in the spring of 2013, Keys of different generations can always connect through their mutual loves of singing, good company, and singing with good company.

Ted, Morgan, Christine, and Simon ('14) at Campus Dance 2011.
Ted (’14), Morgan (’14), Christine (’14), and Simon (‘14.5) at Campus Dance 2011.

Once a Key, always a Key.

The martini glass - The Higher Keys's logo.
The martini glass – The Higher Keys’s logo.