Tuesday night marked the end of the rush process for many prospective a cappella singers, as members of 12 of the 14 a cappella groups under the Singing Group Coalition descended on Old Campus to tap their prospects. Kat Lau reports.
Shortly before 10 p.m., the groups gathered outside the High Street Gate. After a short concert by Yale’s famed senior groups, the Whiffenpoofs and Whim ’N Rhythm, a cappella Tap Night began.
Groups sent their speediest singers to the rooms of their targets, sang traditional tap songs, and presented tap-ees with the ceremonial tap cup. The tapped Elis suddenly found themselves in positions of power: They could respond with a yes, no or maybe.
For the scores of Yalies who rushed a cappella groups, Tap Night was long-awaited. A cappella hopefuls went through weeks of auditions, callbacks and rush meals.
“The rush process has been so drawn out that the anticipation has built up to the point where it’s just insane,” James Campbell ’13 said.
Lamented Jimmy Murphy ’13, “I haven’t seen my suitemate in weeks. He’s just so in demand.”
As the night drew near, the excitement grew. “I feel like a little kid before Christmas,” Campbell said.
The competition for Yale’s premier groups was fierce. Mixed Company, which, according to member Chaka Jaliwa ’11, had over 90 students rush, planned to tap only six on Tap Night. Still, many students were sought after by multiple groups. Speed was key for groups to secure their top picks, and Jaliwa was selected as the runner for Mixed Company because, as he put it, “I may be the fastest person in Yale a cappella.”
The excitement spread to the non-singing members of the Yale community, as well. Bystander Andrew Nelson ’13 said, “It’s a jungle out here. I’m just excited to see how this all turns out.” Eric Levine ’13 compared the night to “watching the inauguration … times 10.”
The festivities even attracted non-Yalies to Old Campus. A friend of Jonathan Edwards College Dean Kyle Farley who was visiting campus, Heather Greysen, explained, “We were told this was an extraordinary event to witness. It didn’t disappoint. This is craziness — Yale style.”
Regardless of whether students were rushing groups themselves, the mood on Old Campus was contagious. Groups in matching shirts sprinted in and out of entryways, often in song.
Spirits — and expectations — were high for the tapped class of 2013. Jaliwa praised this year’s rushing class: “Oh my God … first of all, really talented. Secondly, really attractive.”
Jon Terenzetti ’10 of the Alley Cats concurred: “This is an awesome rushing class. We expect great things.”