To the Editor:

I am writing in regard to a front page article in Friday’s paper about the trials of a new singing group (“Young singing group fights for inclusion, recognition,” 3/1).

Although I am by no means an insider in the a cappella scene, I have been a casual observer for nearly four years now. I have had friends in singing groups, been to my share of “jams,” and I even rushed one group as a freshman, just to try it out. Although I respect the talent and dedication that largely define the a cappella culture, I decided it wasn’t for me, for reasons beyond my inability to carry a tune.

I was reminded of some of those reasons after reading the aforementioned article. It’s a shame that their brothers and sisters in the singing group community would turn their backs on the Bluedogs. Granted, the group is young and still defining its niche among the a cappella clutter, but formal acceptance by the singing group council — and, more importantly, the legitimacy and exposure to potential new members that come with it — would help hasten that definition. Sometimes it seems singers take themselves too seriously.

The Bluedogs have come a long way since their founding last year. While their level of talent probably does not match that of some of the more established groups, it has steadily improved. Including them in the rush process would only bolster their improvement. Excluding them would resign the Bluedogs to a “second tier” status, making the process of establishing themselves as a bona fide group (arbitrarily set by the council) all the more difficult. This would likely set in motion a vicious cycle designed to protect the council’s domain (and inertia).

I watched my friend Ishai Eshkol ’02 dedicate himself to the difficult task of building an organization from the ground up. He was undaunted by the prospect of setting a precedent, simply because he loves singing so much.

I challenge the singing group council to set aside its own pretensions and reservations about an upstart group. The members of the council should have the same courage to break new ground, remembering their same love of singing.

William Durbin ’02

march 4, 2002

The writer is a former sports editor of the Yale Daily News.