Hydrox and Oriocos
Hydrox and Oriocos are student-led a cappella singing groups; Hydrox is an all female group, Oriocos all male. Participation is by audition. Both groups are completely student-led and directed, and both sing at a variety of events throughout the school year, including Parents’ Weekends in October and February, and Alumni Weekend in May.
The tradition of a cappella singing at Taft is almost as old as the school. The Octet was established around 1935; it soon gave way to the Oriocos, allowing for more than eight members. In the 1950s, the Oriocos often sang at dances on campus, and went on tour after graduation. They even cut an album with Columbia Records, “a hi-fi recording of their 15 best tunes.” Hydrox was established soon after Taft became a co-educational school.
1956: “...(Oriocos) rehearsals take place in the depths of the new building (CPT) basement each night after dinner. (They) are very informal. The First Tenors tend to be highly temperamental— particularly fond of warming up their voices at odd times—and the crooner soloists are natural targets for well placed jokes.”from the 1956 album cover notes.
This student-led group welcomes the full Taft community—faculty, staff, and students—to join them in recreating Gospel classics, and adapting progressive Gospel sounds. They practice twice each week during meeting blocks. The group is open to all, with no audition required, and generally includes 20-25 performers. The choir performs both accompanied and a cappella, with standing dates on Parents’ Weekend, Grandparents’ Day, and Martin Luther King Day at Taft, and during Gospel Fest at Hotchkiss.The Gospel Choir has also performed at Morning Meetings and at local churches.