An old saying goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Or Bluedog, for that matter.
Composed of only eight men, the Bluedogs are among the smallest of the Yale a cappella groups. But this spirited group of songsters is still hoping to establish itself firmly in Yale’s diverse and vibrant a cappella scene.
On Wednesday’s Tap Night, the Bluedogs set themselves apart from the singing group pack by having rushees drink punch from a doggie bowl — a change from the Mory’s cups used by other groups.
But as of Thursday night not a single rushee had said “yes” to the Bluedogs. Brian Valencia ’05, one of the group’s rush managers, said there is still a “degree of uncertainty” about who would join.
“The great thing about us right now is that we are still in the process of building tradition,” Valencia said. “This is applicable to repertoire, our tap traditions, and our tour traditions. We still have the luxury of doing what we want. We have no set musical style and are one of the most eclectic groups on campus.”
This is the first year the Bluedogs have participated in Tap Night. The event is run by the Singing Group Council, a body composed of each group’s business manager and four seniors.
A group that is not a member of the Council cannot participate in Tap Night — and, until last year, the Bluedogs were not members.
At the end of last spring, under orders from Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg, the Council formally recognized the Bluedogs as a singing group.
The fledgling Bluedogs, who were formed two years ago by Ishai Eshkol ’02, had been attempting to gain a foothold into the Singing Group Council for the previous three years. Their requests for inclusion had been denied each year, despite having met the requirements determined by each year’s Council, Valencia said.
Aaron Shelley ’05, the tour manager for Living Water, said the Bluedogs were interested in him during last year’s fall rush process.
“They seem to be a nice group of guys,” Shelley said. “They are just starting to start some traditions and develop their identity.”
Shelley said the Bluedogs are still discovering their niche in Yale’s music scene.
“Being accepted to the Council is not an immediate thing,” said Jackson Maier ’05, a member of the Spizzwinks(?). “You have to prove that you’re going to be lasting. The logic behind it is they don’t want a new singing group to change the way things are run, and then die out.”
Maier described the members of the Bluedogs as “cool” and said that the interactions between his group and the Bluedogs have been very friendly.