Alum elected Yale orchestra president

Billy Whitaker ’06 was elected last year to head the Davenport Pops Orchestra at Yale University.

“We’re the only dedicated pops orchestra,” Whitaker said. “It’s our mission to play pop pieces.”

As president of the Davenport Pops, Whitaker plans to change the number and length of the concerts. In place of the lengthy concerts of the previous years, Whitaker is planning shorter 20 minute concerts which he believes will cater more effectively to the university’s crowd.

“We don’t want people to have to commit to one really long concert,” Whitaker said. “We instead want to give them little vignettes all leading up to something grand.”

Whitaker has been playing the violin for 14 years and been and played for Harvard-Westlake’s orchestras. And after playing classical music for six years, Whitaker realizes that pop music requires just as much dedication.

“It’s definitely not a frivolous kind of orchestra.” Whitaker said. “I was and am really dedicated to it.”

Created only three years ago, the Davenport Pops has received funding from Yale University’s Davenport College and has a solid fan base. But the orchestra’s members still must work with their relatively small size and young age.

The orchestra has only 75 members while most of the orchestras have 120.

“In this very short time, the Davenport Pops has created a great reputation, and we still have a full sound.” Whitaker said, “But it’s still small.”

Whitaker shares his presidency with senior Andrew Mangino.