Sing Song hosts and hostesses have been a part of ACU’s biggest tradition for decades now. The six performers sing and dance their way through transitions between the acts, providing entertainment for the audience. Though they don’t get the chance to win Sing Song bragging rights like those participating in the acts, they still get a unique opportunity to be a part of ACU history.
The 2017 hosts and hostesses are Courtney Eubank, Shelby Werderich, Teonna Murphy, Christian Fugar, Ross Spears and David Martinez. The six auditioned in early October and were chosen because of their vocal talent and cohesive synergy as an ensemble, say Sing Song organizers. They’ve already spent several months together, preparing to make sure their performances are as perfect as possible.
For Murphy, junior vocal performance major from Houston, performing in front of people is something she loves.
“This is my thing,” Murphy said. “I love this kind of stuff, so I feel like this was the perfect opportunity for me to do what I love.”
She said the audition process, which included three rounds of singing and dancing, was scary because there were so many talented people auditioning for the same spots. The group worked together last semester after being chosen and now they’ve spent almost every day together this semester, which is what has made this experience worthwhile: bonding with people who also share the same love of performing.
But with such a big production also comes big challenges. For Murphy, the biggest obstacle was believing that she was talented enough to be a hostess. Eubank agreed, saying that finding confidence is the most challenging part of the process.
“The journey of being vulnerable with the six of us, letting them see when we don’t sing a song well, or we do, and the encouragement and support behind that,” Eubank said. “The biggest challenge is letting yourself fail in order to be better so by the time you hit the stage, you have the confidence that it takes to really do that, because we’re all learning.”
Eubank, junior accounting and music major from Phoenix, said performing in a production like Sing Song has always been her dream even though she didn’t grow up around ACU.
“I was that kid when I was little that always wanted to be a singer and there wasn’t very many outlets for it,” Eubank said. “I did church, but the music department is very focused toward opera, and I don’t necessarily sing opera, so when this came up, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I would love to do this. This stage is home for me.'”
Spears, junior psychology major from Abilene, said he’s enjoyed the process because with each phase he develops who he is , but he’s also had to overcome some insecurity, especially during the auditioning process.
“I would say the steps were difficult because it was nerve-wracking, for sure,” he said. “Just seeing all the people that tried out and maybe being insecure about, ‘Am I good enough to be in this group?'”
Spears also said he’s ready to see people’s reactions, which will hopefully all be positive.
Fugar, senior kinesiology major from Cypress, wanted to be a host because he’d seen so many of his friends perform as hosts and hostesses. Like Murphy, he also reaffirmed the fact that getting to know the other performers is the most fun part of the whole experience.
“It’s cool getting to build that relationship and finally getting to show what we’ve worked on all this time,” Fugar said. “I’m really looking forward to just singing with them, because we’ve built such a good relationship, I want to see how it goes and how we can really come out and show what we’ve done.”
Martinez, senior kinesiology major from Clear Lake, experienced Sing Song for the first time his Freshman year and immediately knew he wanted to be a host.
“I had no idea ACU existed before I came here, almost,” Martinez said. “I had never heard of Sing Song. I was in the Freshman bunnies and I remember watching the hosts and hostesses on that Tuesday night and I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I was in choir growing up, and I’ve always loved to sing and perform so I saw them and felt like that was what I was meant to do.”
Martinez said the most eye-opening part of the experience has been seeing behind the scenes of the production that most people don’t get to see. He also said getting to grow alongside the other hosts and hostesses is the best part.
“We’re just so far out of our comfort zones in almost everything that we do every day,” Martinez said. “It’s been fun to experience that with the whole team.”
For Werderich, junior marketing major from Montgomery, the dream of being a hostess started years ago when she saw Sing Song in 8th grade. After a nerve-wracking first round audition that included a mishap with the piano music, she was chosen as a hostess. She said it gets hard to keep up the energy.
“We get so used to singing the same songs over and over again, you have to keep that same energy up every time you sing it like nobody’s ever heard it before,” Werderich said. “We think the songs are going to be hard to sing over and over again because we’ve heard them a million times but now it’s like, just let that be a motivator. Never stop trying to make it with as much energy as we can. Keeping focus is so hard because we just got our mics, and we’ve just been whispering little, stupid stuff to each other.”
“It’s almost like having walkie talkies with your best friends,” he said. “Except, we’re all just a bunch of five-year-olds, telling jokes to each other through the mics.”