Light & Verity

The Duke’s People?

A formerly all-male group says it’s open to anyone—if they can sing tenor or bass.

Wade Newville ’17

Wade Newville ’17

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This fall, one of Yale College’s prestigious men’s a cappella groups will be open to anyone who can sing in the vocal range of its repertoire. The Duke’s Men, founded in 1952 at the inspiration of Saybrook College master Basil Duke Henning ’32, ’37PhD, announced this summer that the group will “officially remove any gender restriction from our audition process and welcome all students to audition for us.” They will continue to sing music written for tenors, baritones, and basses. And what will become of their name? That’s still to be decided. “Our name has the potential to undermine our message of inclusivity, but it also represents a cherished group history,” the group’s statement noted. “With the help of our alumni, we will continue to discuss which elements should stay as we become an all-gender group, and which should change.”

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