A cappella taps newest members

Enthusiastic representatives from 12 of Yale’s 14 a cappella groups stormed Old Campus on Wednesday night.
Enthusiastic representatives from 12 of Yale’s 14 a cappella groups stormed Old Campus on Wednesday night. Photo by Kat Lau.

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.

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.
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.
Enthusiastic fans of the game Red Rover, like Max Hendrickson ’11.
Enthusiastic fans of the game Red Rover, like Max Hendrickson ’11.

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.” 

Comments

  • BK ’08

    Chaka Jaliwa may be the fastest person in Yale a cappella. Then again, he may not!

  • 15, not 14

    Yale has 15 a cappella groups, not 14.

    New Blue, Something Extra, Proof of the Pudding, Alley Cats, Baker’s Dozen, Spizzwinks(?), Duke’s Men, SOBs, Shades, Mixed Company, Living Water, Red Hot and Blue, Out of the Blue, Whim n Rhythm, Whiffenpoofs

  • acappellafan

    awesome photo!

  • A Cappella person

    With all due respect to the News, this is the second article with incorrect A Cappella info this month. One thinks given A Cappella membership overlap with YDN, you could get it right the first time.

  • @#4

    OMG YEAH, I TOTES agree with “A Cappella person.” I mean like, with all due respect to the News, you guys are such bad reporters. I mean, you guys did a great job with the whole Annie Le thing. But this is A CAPPELLA, mmk? This is SERIOUS. So get your facts straight before you go around saying things like there are 14 a cappella groups instead of 15. That’s like saying 290,000 people died in the Rape of Nanking. Cuz guess what? 300,000 people died. See how numbers can hurt people? GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME OR THE RAPE OF NANKING WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

  • A Capellafan-tastic

    Yeah, but c’mon … can you really count New Blue?

  • A Cappella person

    Har har #4. This is not a war crime. There’s a Singing Council website with pictures for all the groups.
    It’s NOT THAT HARD TO FIGURE OUT.

  • A Cappella person

    Methinks #5 is not suitably indoctrinated. A CAPPELLA IS SO IMPORTANT. THESE ARE OUR LIVES.
    Seriously.

  • Oh Really?

    Why are you bashing New Blue?

  • Nnamdi

    Go Kat!

    Also, its funny how everyone comments anonymously, when they seem so eager to say something. I wonder why…

  • DCruse

    Also YDN got the day wrong. Just sayin’…