After six years of flying solo, Pitches & Tones, a coed a cappella group founded in 2011, will join Yale’s 13 other a cappella groups in the Singing Group Council.
The council, which oversees and helps manage the a cappella rush process and other logistics for member groups, announced in a Monday email to Singing Group Council affiliates that Pitches & Tones will now have access to the group’s annual events and will be subject to all the council’s regulations and guidelines. Soon entering its seventh year at Yale, Pitches & Tones is one of six coed groups in the Singing Group Council.
The newest addition to the 13 member groups, which includes the Whiffenpoofs, Shades, and The New Blue, will now be able to participate in the sprint to recruit singers each fall. The rush process consists of showcase performances in Woolsey Hall and Dwight Chapel, as well as a chance to hold a Singing Dessert. Furthermore, Pitches & Tones will be a part of the council’s springtime concert scheduling, which ensures that no group’s large spring semester concert, or “jam,” overlaps with another.
In a statement, the council said it does not expect the new addition to bring about much change within the group next year.
“Having to account for 14 rushing groups instead of 13 may make some events slightly longer but not in any significant way,” said Hayden Kline ’18 in a statement on behalf of the council. “If rush next year happens to be different than this year, we expect the differences to come more from the increased freshman class than anything.”
Pitches & Tones was founded in 2011 by students who wanted to break from the traditions and culture of Yale’s other a cappella groups, according to Pitches & Tones president Matt Abuzalaf ’18. The group wanted to sing a cappella at Yale “without being bound to the past,” he said.
Abuzalaf, who served as the group’s treasurer last year, said he has watched the group grow musically and as an organization. He added that Pitches & Tones has solidified its musical footing and unique identity at Yale over the past six years, and members felt it was time to join the Singing Group Council.
Pitches & Tones singers have been working with the SGC leadership to plan the transition into the council, while also ensuring the group “stay[s] true to [its] own ways of doing things,” Abuzalaf said.
“About the transition into SGC, I think there are things to lose and things to gain, honestly. We might discourage some first-year students from auditioning because rush has this image of being a really stressful process,” Pitches & Tones member Abraham Shim ’20 said. “But we’re going to try our hardest to advertise and let them know that the Rush process for Pitches & Tones is going to be pretty chill.”
Abuzalaf joined the group last year as a sophomore after he missed the audition process during his freshman year. He was only able to join Pitches & Tones because its audition process fell out of the scheduling mandate of the Singing Group Council.
Others, like Shim, auditioned for the group because they found the rush process too hectic. Shim said he missed the Dwight Jam in the fall and decided to audition for Pitches & Tones after meeting the group during Bulldog Days. Shim said he “didn’t really like the Rush or SGC scene.”
Besides the joining the rush process, membership in the Singing Group Council brings greater campus publicity and concert opportunities. Pitches & Tones will also be featured on the Singing Group Council website and will have access to council resources.
Yale’s first a cappella group, the Whiffenpoofs, was founded in 1909.