In 1990, four men and four women sang together for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Easter Dinner, which is an outreach dinner with skits and songs telling the story of Easter and the message of the Gospel. The men and women chose to call themselves Jubilation and sang again for the 1991 Easter dinner. In the fall 1991 semester, two of the original Jubilation members (Elena Chang and Jeannie Lee) decided to make Jubilation a full-fledged a cappella group. There were sign-ups at InterVarsity’s large group meetings and the group that year was nine women strong.
Up until the 1993 fall semester, Jubilation had unofficially been a part of InterVarsity. During the year, Jubilation took its first steps towards becoming an independent group by becoming a sister movement of InterVarsity.
During the 1994–1995 school year, Jubilation changed its name to Jubilation! to put more “oomph” in its name and to more accurately reflect the meaning of the word “jubilation.” It also held auditions for the first time, became a completely independent group apart from InterVarsity, and gained recognition at Columbia University through Earl Hall.
After taking a short hiatus during 2005–2006, Jubilation! was restarted by Will Kang, a Jube alum, and Seon-hye Moon, a senior. Jubilation! has been running strong since then, and continues to glorify God on the campus of Columbia University and in the city of New York. It is recognized as an organization under the Student Governing Board (SGB), which oversees groups whose concerns are religious, spiritual, political, ideological, humanitarian, or activist in nature.
As the COVID-19 global health emergency developed from 2020–present, vastly disrupting normal life and social gatherings and forcing the cancellation of all in-person events, Jubilation! was nevertheless committed to continuing safely, debuting its first virtual concert in Winter 2020.
Jubilation!’s theme verse is Psalm 98:4, which reads, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.”