The Office of Student Organizations and Productions will honor Dr. Gary McCaleb in Wednesday’s Chapel with an Encore award for his years of service to Sing Song.
The award was introduced in 2016 as part of Sing Song’s 60th anniversary celebration and was awarded to Dr. Bob Hunter, creator of Sing Song. It’s awarded at the discretion of the director to someone who has made significant contributions to the university through Sing Song, said Tom Craig, director of student organizations and productions.
McCaleb, vice president of the university, was the Sing Song director from 1964-72 and was one of the longest-tenured directors in the show’s history, seeing the show through several transformations to bring it to it’s modern concept.
“When [McCaleb] joined the Sing Song office, the show took place in the Abilene High School auditorium,” Craig said. “He helped create the modern-day host and hostess role, created the atmosphere for adding live musicians to accompany the hosts and hostesses, added celebrity guests to the Sing Song experience, and he ushered the show back to campus in 1968 to relocate Sing Song to the newly-built Moody Coliseum. The first year in Moody, the freshman class added movement to their singing, creating Sing Song choreography. Dr. McCaleb said the crowd went wild.”
After the award presentation, the Sing Song hosts and hostesses will perform three numbers as a preview of the show this weekend.
“Students have great opportunities to do some really cool things at ACU, but those opportunities didn’t just happen. People like Dr. McCaleb created the foundation for those opportunities with long hours and hard work. Dr. McCaleb was instrumental in shaping the structure for the modern-day Sing Song opportunity ACU students now experience.”