Repertoire

Rebecca Cheng ’18 sings “Cry Me a River” during her commencement concert.

When the group was founded, the Higher Keys originally specialized in performing jazz standards. However, because all of our music is arranged by members of the group, over the years we have branched out to perform a wide selection of pop, soul, R&B, folk, and even rock songs—with 98 arrangements and counting! From simple four-part arrangements to complex arrangements with as many as twelve parts, we seek to bring our energy and enjoyment to all of our performances.

Current Repertoire (as of March 2022)

  • “All of Me” by John Legend
  • “All of Me” by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons
  • The Brown Alma Mater
  • Amy Winehouse Medley – “You Know I’m No Good,” “Some Unholy War,” and “He Can Only Hold Her”
  • Beatles Medley – “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Eight Days a Week,” “Drive My Car,” “We Can Work It Out,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”
  • “Cry Me a River” by Ella Fitzgerald
  • “Halo” by Beyoncé
  • “Have Mercy” by Eryn Allen Kane
  • “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
  • “I Know I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith
  • Gershwin Medley – “But Not For Me,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Summertime,” and “I Got Rhythm”
  • “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Precious” by Esperanza Spalding
  • “River” by Joni Mitchell
  • “Midnight” by Lianne La Havas
  • “my boy” by Billie Eilish
  • “My Oh My” by the Punch Brothers
  • “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman
  • “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
  • “Somewhere” from West Side Story
  • “St. James Infirmary” by Cab Calloway
  • “Stay With You” by John Legend
  • “still feel.” by half•alive
  • “This Love” by Maroon 5
  • “Too Darn Hot” by Cole Porter
  • “Undertow” by Sara Bareilles

Because of the number of arrangements we have accumulated over the years, our repertoire constantly changes from semester to semester as we select a subset of our arrangements to learn. Below is the list (divided by genre) of all the Keys’ arrangements. In order to acknowledge and honor the origins of this music, we make a point to research, discuss, and reflect on the culture and history behind all the songs we perform. We have included brief summaries of the origin of several of our most frequently performed arrangements below.

Jazz/Vocal

  • “All of Me” – Gerald Marks & Seymour Simons
    • One of the most recorded jazz standard songs, All of Me is a timeless classic whose chart topping bars have been interpreted by Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • “At Last” – Mack Gordon & Harry Warren
    • A song originally written in 1941 for the musical film Sun Valley Serenade, At Last was famously popularized by a 1960 arrangement of the tune sung by Etta James.
  • “Autumn Leaves” – Joseph Kosma & Johnny Mercer
  • “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” – The Andrews Sisters
  • “Cheek to Cheek” – Irving Berlin
  • “Cry Me a River” – Arthur Hamilton
    • A ballad originally composed in 1953, our version draws mostly from the 1961 recording by Ella Fitzgerald.
  • “Don’t Wait Too Long” – Madeleine Peyroux
  • “Fly Me to the Moon” – Bart Howard
  • Gershwin Medley – “But Not For Me,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Summertime,” “I Got Rhythm”
  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Bonnie Raitt
  • “I’ll Be Seeing You” – Billie Holiday
  • “I’m Beginning to See the Light” – Duke Ellington
  • “It’s Only a Paper Moon” – Harold Arlen
  • “Leaving Again / In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” – Kurt Elling
  • “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” – Manning Sherwin & Eric Maschwitz (Manhattan Transfer version)
  • “Orange Colored Sky” – Milton DeLugg & Willie Stein
  • “Precious” – Esperanza Spalding
    • A contemporary jazz tune composed, performed, and popularized by bassist and four-time Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding.
  • “River” – Joni Mitchell
  • “Sing, Sing, Sing” – Benny Goodman
  • “Sir Duke” – Stevie Wonder
    • This track employs the artist’s trademark brassy, funk style as he pays homage to jazz legend Duke Ellington and other legendary contributors to the genre.
  • “Somewhere” – Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim
  • “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” – Irving Berlin
  • “St. James Infirmary Blues” – Irving Mills
  • “Sunny Side of the Street” – Jimmy McHugh
  • “Take the ‘A’ Train” – Duke Ellington
  • “Too Darn Hot” – Cole Porter
  • “You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three” – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

R&B

  • “All of Me” – John Legend
  • “Have Mercy” – Eryn Allen Kane
  • “I Wish” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Lean On Me” – Bill Withers
  • “Midnight” – Lianne La Havas
  • “Stay With You” – John Legend
  • Ray Charles Medley – “Hallelujah, I Love Her So,” “Hit the Road Jack”
  • “Think/Respect” – Aretha Franklin / Otis Redding
    • Our dual arrangement mashes up “Think” and “Respect,” the former written by (and the latter popularized by) Aretha Franklin. Released in 1968 and 1967 respectively, both songs became anthems of women’s empowerment.
  • “Try a Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding
    • A jazz standard popularized by singer-songwriter Otis Redding, who is equally popular for penning the hits (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay and Respect, mentioned above.
  • “Virtual Insanity” – Jamiroquai
    • The 1996 hit song by British funk band Jamiroquai borrows pieces from a 1980s Jocelyn Brown disco bop.
Nikki Haddad ’16 sings “Somebody to Love” during her commencement concert.

Pop/Rock

  • Amy Winehouse Medley – “You Know I’m No Good,” “Some Unholy War,” “He Can Only Hold Her”
    • A mashup of three songs on Back to Black, this medley draws on the artist’s iconic blend of pop, soul, and R&B.
  • Beatles Medley – “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Eight Days a Week,” “Drive My Car,” “We Can Work It Out,” “Strawberry Fields Forever”
  • “Blame It On the Boogie” – Michael Jackson
  • “Desperado” – Don Henley
  • “Dive” – Ed Sheeran
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
  • “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys
  • “Halo” – Beyoncé
  • “I’m Not the Only One” – Sam Smith
  • “Jet Airliner” – Paul Pena
  • “Kyoto” – Phoebe Bridgers
  • “Mack the Knife” – Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht
  • “Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson
    • A soulful, gospel-inspired piece on self-reflection from the King of Pop himself, Jackson’s use of a powerful backing choir drives a strong feeling of hope through the track.
  • “Many the Miles” – Sara Bareilles
  • Michael Jackson Medley – “Billie Jean,” “Black or White,” “Beat It,” “I’ll Be There,” “The Way You Make Me Feel”
  • “my boy” – Billie Eilish
  • “My Favorite Rings” – Rodgers & Hammerstein / Ariana Grande
  • “My Oh My” – Punch Brothers
  • “Once Upon Another Time” – Sara Bareilles
  • “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – YES
  • Rolling Stones Medley – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
  • “Samson” – Regina Spektor
  • “Sentimental Guy” – Ben Folds
  • “Somebody to Love” – Queen
  • “Something” – The Beatles
  • “still feel.” – half•alive
  • “Symphony” – Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larsson
  • “Take Me to the River” – Al Green
  • “This Love” – Maroon 5
  • “Undertow” – Sara Bareilles
    • This cautionary tale of an addictive attraction is well presented by the singer-songwriter through her soulful, edgy tone and raw, honest lyrics.
  • “Will You Be There” – Michael Jackson
  • “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Randy Newman

    Judson Ellis ’19 and Laura Jaramillo ’20 sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” during the annual Beary Keys concert.

Holiday

  • “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Frank Loesser
  • “The Christmas Song” – Mel Tormé & Bob Wells
  • “Christmastime Is Here” from Charlie Brown
  • “Santa Baby” – Joan Javits
  • “This Christmas” – Donny Hathaway
  • “We Five Kings” (“We Three Kings” & “Take Five”) – Paul Desmond

Traditional

  • The Brown Alma Mater
  • The Star-Spangled Banner (hear our jazz arrangement as sung at the annual Convocation in 2019.)