About Men in Drag
Men in Drag (no men, occasional drag!) is an all-female, student-run a cappella group at The University of Chicago. Its members embrace all that the name implies, challenging gender conventions and bringing passion and swag to all-female a cappella. Whether they're donning dresses and heels or leather and boots, Men in Drag is always rocking out. Their most recent album, Late Nights, Parades, received critical acclaim and was nominated for five Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, winning Best Scholastic Original and Best Female Collegiate Arrangement. Their songs have been featured on national a cappella compilation albums Sing, Best of Collegiate A Cappella (BOCA), and Voices Only, and they released their first music video in 2012. During the 2013-14 season, MiD released "Coming Undone," which was recently nominated for three Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards and featured on international a cappella compilation album sing 10: neon, hosted AcappellaFest, a Midwest CASA-produced a cappella festival, embarked on their fifth annual winter tour, competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), and put on three campus performances.
Their stage presence is unreal
- Mike Jankowski, A Cappella Productions
A truly impressive group
- Mike Chin, the A Cappella Blog
Fun, sassy, full of energy and integrity
- Deke Sharon, founder of CASA
Awards, Competitions, and Compilations
2015 CARA* Runner-Up, Best Female Collegiate Solo (for "Givin Em What They Love")
CARA Nominated, Best Female Collegiate Song (for "Givin Em What They Love")
Sing 12 compilation album "Givin Em What They Love"
WACA Vol. 2 compilation album "Givin Em What They Love"
2014 CARA Won, Best Female Collegiate Song (for "Coming Undone")
CARA Won, Best Female Collegiate Arrangement (for "Coming Undone")
CARA Runner-Up, Best Female Collegiate Solo (for "Coming Undone")
ICCA** 4th Place in Chicago Quarterfinal
ICCA Outstanding Choreography
2013 RARB Track of the Year "Cherry Pie"
Sing 10 compilation album "Coming Undone"
ACA*** Runner-up, Favorite Female Collegiate Group
ACA Nominated, Favorite YouTube Video (for the "Cherry Pie" music video)
ACA Nominated, Favorite Original A Cappella Song (for "Something in the Water")
Voices Only compilation album "Something in the Water"
CARA Won, Best Scholastic Original (for "Something in the Water")
CARA Nominated, Best Female Collegiate Album (for Late Nights, Parades)
CARA Nominated, Best Female Collegiate Song (for "On the Wing")
CARA Nominated, Best Female Collegiate Arrangement (for "Hurt")
ICCA 4th place in Chicago Quarterfinal
BOCA**** "Cherry Pie"
2012 CARA Won, Best Female Collegiate Arrangement (for "On the Wing")
Boston Sings A Cappella Festival 4th place in collegiate competition
2011 Voices Only "On the Wing"

* Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award

** International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella

*** A Cappella Community Award

**** Best of Collegiate A Cappella compilation album

History of Men in Drag

On a chilly autumn day in 1997, two young women at the University of Chicago came together for a noble cause. They united in rebellion against the heteronormativity that dominated collegiate a cappella and, in particular, all-female groups. They began a great quest to prove that women could perform traditionally “male” songs with just as much (if not more) raunchiness, sass, and grit as the boys of a cappella.

Thus, Men in Drag was born as a reaction to the standard all-female groups of the day. The first rehearsal included two more ladies, and was located in the basement music rooms of University of Chicago residential dormitory, Pierce. “Java Jive” by Manhattan Transfer and “Seven” by Prince were their first two musical endeavors, the latter of which became the group’s theme song for several years. In autumn 1998, the group was officially established as a Registered Student Organization of the University, and in 1999, Men in Drag produced its first album, We Have Lost Cabin Pressure, which included songs like “Ants Marching,” “Sweet Dreams,” “House of Blue Lights,” and of course “Seven.” The album art was self-created and based on cutouts of Dragazines.

Over the years, Men in Drag evolved, sometimes donning the traditionally masculine attributes of suits and ties, and sometimes embracing a more feminine side with dresses and heels, but always providing quality and unconventional entertainment to its audience. Between 2001 and 2007, Men in Drag produced four more albums, Philosophy of Etiquette, Not Just Some Guy in a Basement Anymore, Perfectly Aligned, and Always Check the Elevator.

In 2009, Men in Drag signed with A Cappella Records (ACR) and released their studio album, No Pants, No Problem. The album’s track, “Almost Lover,” was one of ACR’s top-selling downloads in 2010. Reviews of the album from the Recorded A Cappella Review Board (RARB) called the ladies “impressive, solid, energized, tuned, interesting” and noted that, “They don’t need guys to provide a full sound.” 2009 also saw the debut of the Men in Drag Pie-Date Auction fundraiser, a trademark annual spring event on campus, as well as the first annual Winter Chicagoland Tour.

In 2012, Men in Drag released a single, "Cherry Pie," along with an accompanying music video. They also released their seventh studio album, Late Nights, Parades, which was nominated by The Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA) for Best Female Collegiate album. In 2013, they competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) for the first time, and were honored to receive fourth place in their quarterfinal. They are currently recording their ICCA set to be released as part of their next studio album.

Somewhere between the Carlo Rossi, the animal print, and the nerdiness of the University of Chicago, Men in Drag’s dedicated passion for music and entertainment always shines through. The ladies bring sass, creativity, and brio to the world of all-female a cappella.