About Us

Our Beginning
In 1991, a large student-run choir called the Amateurs was founded by Washington University students Bob McKelvey and David Cooperstein. Over the next several years, the group shed its instruments and shrank until it became a true a cappella group. Neither that transition nor the years that followed, however, changed the Amateurs’ desire to still make music today: we do it because we love it.

Our Name
The word ‘amateur’ derives from the Latin word amator, which means lover, devoted friend, or someone who is in avid pursuit of an objective. In the original sense, an amateur is someone who does something for the love of it and because they have a passion for it. Even though nearly all of our group members are studying something other than music at Wash U, we are bound together as a family by our shared love of music.

Our Music
We are proud of the fun energy and musicianship we pour into all of our musical arrangements. We belt Christina Aguilera, jam on stage to Maroon 5, slow down a Bon Iver ballad, throw it back to 80’s hits, and do everything in between! We all vote on the music we want to sing, and anyone in the group can arrange songs. Each member of our group comes from a unique musical background and brings fresh and creative ideas. Auditions is one of our favorite times of the year, as we get to see the talent, skills, and ideas that everyone wants to bring to our group!