Milt and Dana Hoffman, with the Tigerlillies at the Hebrew Institute
November 4, 2010
Richard J. Garfunkel
Milt Hoffman, the Dean of Westchester County’s journalists, was a guest on The Advocates this week. He recently lost his beloved wife Judy of over 50 years. We met the Hoffmans many years ago at a Jai-alai Fronton in Connecticut and on vacation in Florida. They were a great partnership, and Milt, who covered seven Democratic and Republican National Conventions, knew more about local government and how it worked, then anyone I, or any one else, has ever known. His column, Tales of Hoffman, ran for over 30 years and he was always at the forefront of governmental reform and transparency. Today, after almost nine years of retirement, he is busier than ever; serving on many governmental, historical and review boards. One can hear Milt’s visit to The Advocates by going to http://advocates-wvox.com.
Yesterday, at the Hebrew Institute, where Milt has been a member for many decades, his granddaughter Dana Hoffman, and her a cappella singing group, the Tigerlillies came to entertain and honor her grandmother. Since my son Jon, was a Princeton graduate, the Class of 1998, I was aware of the long and wonderful tradition of Princeton’s a cappella groups. Therefore, despite a heavy rainstorm, I made my way over to Greenridge Avenue in White Plains, and joined the enthusiastic throng of Hebrew Institute regulars to hear their performance. I also had the pleasure of sitting at one of the tables where half the Tigerlillies were having lunch. These young women, who reflect some of our best and brightest, came from places as disparate as Shanghai, California, Long Island, and Philadelphia. They were first year students, sophomores and juniors and all had diverse intellectual interests ranging from engineering to history to English literature.
The Tigerlilly tradition began at Princeton University on a fall afternoon in 1971. Maria Danly '74 and seven other women gathered beneath the gothic architecture of 1879 archway, filling it with a four-part arrangement of the jazz classic How High the Moon. This was the inception of the female a cappella sound at Princeton. The group has changed over the past three decades, but the tight-knit combination of music and sisterhood has stayed the same. Since 1971, the Tigerlilies have traveled far and wide, touring exotic locales such as Switzerland, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Bahamas. Don't forget Boston, Birmingham, Cape Cod, or Colorado: we have also made our way all around the continental U.S. Though our working repertoire changes as new songs are arranged and added, the Tigerlily sound and performance personality has always remained strong and unique.
Meanwhile the performance was not a disappointment. Their skill at harmonizing was wonderful, their synergy was obvious, and the music was great. It was a wonderful musical event, and I was one of the first to buy their Sincerely Yours CD, which has 23 tunes from Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend to How High the Moon. To buy the CD, one can go to this site:
http://www.princeton.edu/~tigerlil/store.htm , I am sure you won’t be disappointed.