She’s Back! Princeton Tigerlilies A Capella Group Performs at Westridge for the Very First Time with Westridge Alumna


Lilah R.

Ryan Villaverde handing the microphone to Hannah W. ’23 before playing The Rose, by Ola Gjeilo.

Every year, the Westridge Glee Club performs beautiful songs for the school. This year, they continued to add to their list of memorable shows—for the first time ever, Glee Club performed with both Westridge’s Chamber Orchestra and Princeton’s all-girls a capella group, the Tigerlilies. While this might have seemed like a surprising collaboration, Reese O. ’20, a Westridge alumna, is a current member of the Princeton Tigerlilies. Originally, the Tigerlilies wanted to do a tour throughout Southern California, and when planning it, they reached out to Westridge, as they were interested in performing with Glee Club. “I went to an all-girls school for 13 years and obviously we’re an all-girls community, and so I think being able to visit [Westridge] has been very special for us—and especially cause Reese has such a connection here, coming from here and all,” said Caroline Grunwald, manager of the Princeton Tigerlilies. While planning the performance with the Tigerlilies, Villaverde began to brainstorm ideas for the show. He came up with a performance that included not only the Tigerlilies and Glee Club, but also Westridge’s Orchestra.


Glee Club Showcase Program (Lilah R.)

During the showcase, the Tigerlilies sang several classics like: “Lovely Way to Spend an Evening” by Jimmy McHugh, but also new and popular songs like “Send My Love (to your New Lover)” by Adele. 

The Tigerlilies’ original plan was to solely sing classical songs; however, with Villaverde’s encouragement, they decided to play more popular songs to further engage the audience’s attention. “So on the part of the Tigerlilies, what they did was, they put together a program of six pieces. They sent it over to me and said, ‘What do you think of this?’ And I said, ‘I think you guys should do one Adele song.’ So they chose that song. I was looking at the faces that everybody had on because I think they were just not expecting that,” Villaverde remarked. 



While the Princeton group was the main event, this was also the first event of the year for Westridge’s Glee Club. While many Glee Club members were eager to sing with an a capella group, some were nervous. “I’m nervous, because I haven’t sung in a group in a very long time, but I’m excited because I know it’s a really cool opportunity that we’re being offered,” said Sydney S. ’25. 

Another concern for Glee Club Members was performing their first big show post-pandemic.

Sophie C. ’25 said, “I’m a little nervous because I have not performed since last year, but bouncing back from the pandemic I am very excited to be able to make connections with really prestigious and really talented groups like the Princeton Tigerlilies.”


Glee Club Members and Ryan Villaverde, Glee Club Director before singing their first song, Festival Sanctus, by J. Leavitt. (Lilah R.)

The Princeton Tigerlilies singing For the Longest Time, by Billy Joel. PC: Lilah R. ’25. 

After the performance, the Tigerlilies were pleasantly surprised by the audience’s response to their singing. “This was definitely our best performance environment that we’ve sung on tour so far. The audience was just so lovely and singing with the Glee Club was so much fun,” said Bridget Schafer, a junior at Princeton University. While coming to Westridge was a special moment for all of the Tigerlilies, one member had a particularly nostalgic moment: Reese O. ’20, Westridge’s alumna. “It’s so wonderful, it’s so special to be back and singing with this group that meant so much to me when I was on campus here, and bringing all of my friends from college back to this campus. I feel so lucky to be here and to be able to have this concert with the Glee Club and singing with them has been the highlight of my year,” she said.

The Princeton Tigerlilies singing For the Longest Time, by Billy Joel. (Lilah R.)

Overall, the Westridge community thoroughly enjoyed the joint performance with the Princeton Tigerlilies, and cherished listening to the melodies of new and familiar voices. “It was very entertaining to watch and I was very impressed with the Tigerlilies,” said Kimberly C. ’25.

“We had an amazing time here, it was so special for us to be here,” concluded Caroline G.,  President of the Tigerlilies.