A year after tapping its first non-male singer, members of the Duke’s Men of Yale — a formerly all-male a capella group — will now call themselves Doox of Yale.
The group decided to change its name because it felt that “The Duke’s Men” did not adequately represent the all-gender status of the group, said Doox Co-business Manager, Morgan Baker ’21.
Since the Doox went all-gender, the group’s name has caused confusion among audience members, Baker said, and it became apparent that having “Men” in the name of an all-gender group would confuse first-year students considering auditioning.
“I and the other members would’ve felt silly every time we explained to first years on campus that we are, in fact, an all-gender group,” Baker said. “It’s all about accessibility and clarity.”
Over the past few months, members of Doox of Yale reached out to the group’s alumni for advice on finding a new name that reflected their gender diversity, while still connecting “Duke’s Men from the past to Doox of the future” and honoring the group’s namesake, Basil Duke Henning ’32 GRD ’37.
Amid growing pressure on Yale’s all-male student groups to admit women and other students who do not identify as male, Doox of Yale has been a trailblazer for gender inclusivity in the campus a capella scene. Last summer, it became Yale’s first all-male a capella group to abolish gender restrictions since at least the 1980s, just after Yale College began admitting women. A month later, the group tapped Baker, who is gender nonbinary, as its first non-male member.
Last February, the Whiffenpoofs — Yale’s famed senior a capella group — followed suit, abolishing gender restrictions and admitting Sofia Campoamor ’20, the group’s first female member in its 109-year history.
Both the Whiffenpoofs and Doox retained their original vocal arrangements of “TTBB” — Tenor I, Tenor II, Baritone and Bass.
Doox of Yale Business Managers Noah Parnes ’21 and Baker are currently working with music distribution services to find a solution that recognizes both the group’s old and new names. While Doox of Yale has updated several of its online platforms, including its website and Instagram, to reflect its new name, the Friday announcement indicated that it could take several days for some of the group’s online profiles to change.