Ryman Healthcare is excited to host international a cappella stars the Harvard Krokodiloes on New Zealand’s shores for the first time in over two decades.
The Krokodiloes are Harvard’s oldest a cappella group with performances dating back to 1946. They have performed in front of such luminaries as Julia Roberts, and at Bill Clinton’s inauguration.
The current group of Kroks (as they are often called) are touring New Zealand throughout June, giving Ryman residents and friends this very rare opportunity to see them live. An opportunity that was only made possible by Ryman sponsoring this prestigious troupe to come to New Zealand.
They’ve already wowed a group of Ryman residents and guests in Christchurch with their Ivy League banter and fun take on 50s and 60s rock and vocal standards. Their performance started with personal asides, including one of the young vocalists relating how his girlfriend ‘Runaround Sue’ left him, as group members tentertained and talked about their life at the elite college.
Ryman Sales Advisor Chris Ashton and the audience warmly welcomed the troupe, who set the scene for their 45-minute performance by bounding on stage in twos and threes, playing off each other’s stage presence and entertainment personalities.
Current members of the group include Cantabrian Alex Zhou, whose parents were in the audience for the Christchurch stopover on their 2023 tour.
“I definitely come from an unconventional singing background,” he says.
“I had no exposure to singing all the way until year 12, my second to last year of high school. Then my friends as a joke signed me up for auditions for the high school choir. They didn’t tell me until 40 minutes before the audition... I thought why not, I’ll give it a shot. I went in and sang the national anthem, and somehow it worked out.”
With limited experience it was nerve-racking to audition at Harvard for the Kroks in his first year, he says.
“First week was a bit of a struggle because you’re constantly singing, and each a cappella group has three to four rounds of auditions.”
After four years he has now graduated in economics from Harvard, and besides singing bass is acting as tour manager.
So far on this tour the Kroks have been to Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney and now Christchurch. Next, they will head to Auckland with a series of sold-out shows, and finally finish their New Zealand tour with a sold-out show in Wellington.
Harvard Kroks' New Zealand member Alex Zhou.