A different kind of rush…

For Yale students, the first couple weeks of the semester are spent tackling crazy shopping schedules, organizing extra curricular meetings and catching up with friends after the summer. For me, this was all intertwined with the age-old tradition of a cappella rush. Yes, at Yale, we rush a cappella.

I went through the process as a freshman and was fortunate enough to find a spot in Proof of the Pudding, Yale’s all-female jazz and swing a cappella group. It became my family, a close-knit community and a great source of creative inspiration outside of the classroom. With the fall drawing near, I was excited to bring a new set of girls into this family and share with them the gift of music.

Author Stephanie at the microphone during a "Proof of the Pudding" performance.

The “rush” process was a 3-week rush of auditions, callbacks and meals with all the potential new members of Proof. I was reminded of my own rush as a freshman. I met my closest friends at various a cappella concerts or outside audition rooms. Some of them continue to sing, and some of them proceeded to do other amazing things.

My love of music was shared with people I would never have met otherwise, and even though we’re all “a cappella people,” we’re so diverse in interest and nature. The girls that I sing with fly planes, volunteer at hospitals, interned at Microsoft and can recite Latin.

Author Stephanie embracing another member of Proof, both wearing face paint.

So, when we reached the final night of rush, I could not wait to invite a brand new set of musicians to our sound, but also four diverse opinions, interests and new friends. Tap Night (a night of tradition and supposed secrecy) was the culmination of this waiting process in which every a cappella group was storming Old Campus, singing excitedly, wearing appropriately-colored war paint and screaming the names of their new members. I haven’t ran that quick in a long time, but it was all worth it for a new formation of the family and a tradition that was 100% Yale.