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Rush Demystified

We know that all of this might seem a little sudden – what’s this crazy cult you’ve gotten yourself into? What are ‘Woolsey’ and ‘Dwight,’ and why do people keep talking about desserts? Before giving you all of the details, here’s an overview of the rush process, broken down into manageable terms.

01 - MedicineThe New Blue of Yale
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What is rush and how do I start?

“Rush” is just Yale’s term for the three-week-long process of auditioning for a cappella groups, hearing them perform for you, and hopefully getting to know and connect with a few of them through what we call “rush meals.” If you think that singing is something you could get into in college, or just like to hear good music and meet new people, the first step is to attend Woolsey Jam on Saturday, September 2nd. If you like what you hear, come back on Monday, September 4th for Marsh Sign-Up Jam, and afterwards, you can grab an audition slot at our rush table for the upcoming weekend. The rest will become clear from there. 


What is the SGC?

The New Blue is a member of the Yale Singing Group Council (SGC), an umbrella organization that represents 16 undergraduate a cappella groups.  The SGC organizes rush, along with other events throughout the year. More information about rush and a cappella at Yale can be found at


What is Woolsey Jam?

Woolsey Jam is a big kick-off concert in which every a cappella group in Yale’s Singing Group Council sings two songs. It’ll take place in Woolsey Hall on Saturday, September 2nd.


What about Marsh?

Marsh Sign-Up Jam starts out a lot like Woolsey – every group sings two songs, except it will be at MARSH Lecture Hall, on Monday, September 4th. This time, every group will have a table set up with sign-up sheets and audition folders, and once all of the groups have finished performing, you can go around to each group that you’d like to rush and sign up for an audition slot. After you sign up, each group will give you a folder with all of the information you need, including a reminder card for when and where your audition will be.


What should I expect in auditions? How about callbacks? What happens in between?

Auditions vary slightly from group to group, but the gist is the same. You’ll start with some vocal warm-ups and warm-downs, sing a solo of your choice, and do a few other exercises as specified by the group (for details on your New Blue audition, see our All You Need to Audition tab). All in all, it should take no more than 15 minutes. Callback info will come later in the process, but callbacks will be held the following weekend and will be very similar to auditions. Don’t sweat it. During the week following auditions, each group puts on a Singing Dessert (see below), and groups may contact you to schedule rush meals, which are informal opportunities to eat in dining halls with a couple of group members, chat and get to know you, as well as answer any questions you may have about singing with the group!


Who are these rush managers?

Anjali and Jen are your rush managers for the 2023 Rush season, which basically means that they are your go-to people for any and all rush-related questions, schedule conflicts, and other concerns. They’ll be the ones you see at our audition table when you arrive to sing for us, and they’ll work with you to schedule rush meals.


What’s Singing Dessert?

During the week after auditions, each group puts on its own Singing Dessert, which is a full-length concert for rushees and their friends. You’ll receive a Singing Dessert invitation from each group that you choose to rush. There will be two or three different Desserts each night at various locations, but there is ample time between each so you will have no problem attending Singing Desserts for all the groups you’re rushing! During their Singing Dessert, each group will perform their favorite arrangements, show you an array of soloists, and feed you delicious snacks. It’s a great opportunity for you to hear more than just the snippets you’ll get at Woolsey or Dwight, and by this point you’ll have met a couple of members, so we get the chance to say hey again!


And then the big one — what is tap night?

Tap night is the final night of rush, when all of the a cappella groups run around to the rooms of the rushees they’re “tapping,” or inviting to become new members. The whole evening involves lots of sprinting, shouting, and singing, and is a great time for all.


When is it?

This year Tap Night will be on Wednesday, September 20th!

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