Rush FAQ
frequently asked questions


Q:

What is "rush?"


"Rush" is the name of the audition process for a cappella singing groups at Yale. While called by the same name, the rush process is different from a sorority or fraternity-style rush. It is usually about a month-long process of auditions, concerts, and meals, culminating in a "tap night," when the new members of groups are selected. The process is designed to introduce interested singers to the wide spectrum of a cappella singing opportunities at Yale, as well as more in depth views of the style and repertoire of each group and the personalities of its members.


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Q:

When can I first meet and hear these different groups?


At the activities bazaar, singing
group members may pass out information sheets or ask you to sign up on an email list if you might be interested in auditioning. The first event of Rush 2010 is the Woolsey Hall Kick-Off Jam, which takes place on Sunday, August 29th at 9:00 pm.  At this event, all the groups sing a couple songs to highlight their different styles and sounds. This is an event which many members of the Yale community attend to cheer on their friends as well as listen to quality a cappella music. Attendance is free, so bring your friends!

For a full calendar of rush events, click here.


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Q:

How do I audition?


The Dwight Hall Sign-Up Jam (affectionately known as "Dwight") is a second chance to hear all the cappella groups perform more songs and skits from their repertoire. It is held on the Wednesday night following the Woolsey Jam so that interested singers have time to reflect on the different performances they saw and heard at the previous jam.

Sign-ups for auditions immediately follow the end of the Whiffenpoofs' performance at Dwight. Each group has a table alongside the walls of the room. Please sign up for an audition time and receive an audition card/materials from each group you would like to audition for. This sign-up process can sometimes get a little crazy, but if you stick around long enough you may witness a unique inter-group tradition.


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Q:

I missed Dwight, but I really want to audition! What do I do now?


If for some reason you miss the Dwight Sign-Up (you fell asleep, you lost track of time...) and are interested in auditioning, do not panic. If you signed up on an email list at the Freshman Activities Bazaar, a group's rush manager may try to contact you to ask you if you would still like to audition. Also, you may use the links on our website to search any of the groups' websites to contact the rush managers. Please note that auditions cannot be held after the Monday following Dwight Hall Jam, so please contact the rush managers of the groups you are interested in rushing ASAP.


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Q:

I am not a freshman. Can I still audition?


Yes! Nearly every year several groups tap upperclassmen singers (sophomores, juniors, seniors) into their groups. The only way to assure that you won't be tapped is if you choose to not audition. So attend the Dwight Hall Jam and sign up!


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Q:

Which groups can I audition for?


The Whiffenpoofs and Whim 'n Rhythm each have separate audition processes in the spring open only to junior men and women respectively. Other than this, 13 other SGC-affiliated groups participate in the fall rush process, and auditions are open to all students. You may choose to audition for as many or as few of these groups as you choose to sign up for at the Dwight Hall Jam.

As a note, male rushees cannot be tapped by all-female groups and female rushees cannot be tapped by all-male groups. However, interested singers may still rush single-sex groups of the opposite sex to "practice audition" for other groups. The group members should treat you as regular rushee through your first audition, including assigning you a rush meal.


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Q:

When and where are auditions held?


Auditions are held in various locations across campus only during the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) immediately following the Dwight Hall Jam. A complete listing of audition locations can be found on our homepage.


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Q:

What is the audition process like?


Each group is a little different, so each audition may be a little different. However, the following general guidelines should hold true for any first audition.

Auditions typically last ten to fifteen minutes. In the audition, you will be asked to sing a solo (a cappella) of your choice. Groups will also ask you to do some interval, rhythm, and blending exercises and to learn a small excerpt of music.

In the spirit of rush, auditions are not meant to be intimidating in any way. Above all, don't fret about your solo choice - anything that shows off your voice is great. Groups have heard everything from "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to "Umbrella" to "Memory" to "Se tu m'ami."


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Q:

Exactly what is a "rush meal"?


After your audition, you may be scheduled for rush meals, where you will have the chance to eat and chat with some group members. These meals are meant to help rushees and group members get to know each other. You will be scheduled for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in one of the Yale dining halls with one or more members of the group. Rush meals are not permitted outside of Yale Dining Halls. For more information about this, and the other rush rules, please click here.


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Q:

What is a "Singing Dessert"?


Every rushee of a group is invited to attend the group's Singing Dessert, a group's only full-length concert during the rush process. Here, groups present selections from their repertoire and serve hors d'oeuvres and desserts. Most singing desserts are followed by after-parties, where you can hang out with members of the group, chat about the dessert, and get to know the members better. Alchohol is not permitted at Singing Dessert after parties. For more information, see the rush rules. Invitations to Singing Desserts are delivered to rushees sometime after auditions.


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Q:

Are there Callback Auditions?


Many groups choose to have callback auditions for rushees they are interested in hearing again. These callback auditions will only be held on the weekend following the last singing dessert. Each group runs its callbacks slightly differently, but generally these auditions are similar to, but slightly longer and more comprehensive than, the first auditions. If you are called back you should receive specific information as to what your callback will entail. If you have questions, please contact the rush manager of the group you are rushing for clarification.


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Q:

When will I find out if I have been chosen to be in a group?


In the days following your callback audition, you may receive a "Tap Notification" from a group (or several groups). This "Tap Notification" is simply a heads-up that the group intends to tap you on Tap Night- a guarantee that the group will come to your door on Tap Night. "Tap Notifications" may be given on a legal Rush Meal, over the phone from a Rush Manager, or in an email from a Rush Manager. You are not expected to reply to this "Tap Notification" in any way- you may (and are encouraged) to make your final decision on Tap Night, and simply take your "Tap Notification" as what it is, a heads up! Each group is different however, and if you are not given a "Tap Notification" from a group you are rushing prior to Tap Night, you may still be tapped.

Tap Night is the end of the rush process. On this night, all the groups line up on Old Campus behind the High Street gate. Following a brief concert by Whim 'n Rhythm and the Whiffenpoofs, at the drop of a broom the groups' runners, with tap cups in hand, race towards the Old Campus dorms. The groups run all over campus to "tap," or notify the rushees they would like to be members of this group. Rushees who will not be tapped will also be notified by the group before the end of tap night (12:30am).

Ceremonial "pre-tapping" of freshman (tapping them into the group before tap night, or giving a "Tap Notification" before the callback weekend is completed) is not permitted. If you are a freshman and think a group may be trying to pre-tap you, or gives you a tap notification before callbacks are complete, please let us know.


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Q:

Do I have to decide which group to go with on tap night?


Most rushees do decide to go with a group that taps them on tap night, because it is a thrilling experience to run with the group, and brings great closure to a month long process. However, if you are feeling really unsure about your decision, you do not have to immediately decide to go with a group when they tap you. When a group asks you if you would like to be a member of their group, you have three possible responses: YES, NO, or MAYBE.

As soon as you say YES to a group, you are a member of that group. You may run with the group for the remainder of tap night, and cannot join any other group that may try to tap you unless you quit the group you said yes to and re-rush the other group in the next rush.

As soon as you say NO to a group, the group should no longer pursue you. You cannot become a member of that group unless you re-rush and are tapped by them again in the next rush.

If you say MAYBE to a group on tap night, they cannot actively pursue you after 12:30am, but you have until midnight on the Sunday following tap night to decide. No decision by this deadline is equivalent to NO. Also, if you say MAYBE to a group, but then choose to run with that group or attend its tap night after party, that is equivalent to saying YES.


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What should I do if I have any more questions?


If you have any question about rush policies, we suggest you read the rush rules. They are available on our site, or on the sites of any groups you are rushing. If you have any questions about when rush event occur, please see the rush calendar. If you have any further group-specific questions, please contact one of the rush managers of that group. However, feel free to contact us at any time. We will do our best to help!


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