For the second year in a row, the Optimist is running a review of Sing Song.
Such reviews have come under fire in the past, but the arguments against them fail to recognize Sing Song’s own importance and professionalism.
As a publication that covers the ACU community and the events that affect it, the Optimist has long reviewed productions of the Theatre Department, which consistently provides professional-quality shows for students, faculty, staff and community.
Sing Song began as a friendly competition of quartets, has grown into a production where thousands of dollars are spent on lighting, sound and stage. Thousands of tickets are sold, and the event, along with Lectureship, brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the city.
Yet, many argue that Sing Song is not a professional-quality production that should be reviewed by a professional-quality newspaper.
Such thinking is an insult to the hundreds of hours the students and organizers of Sing Song put in each year. Amateurs may comprise the Sing Song acts, but their performances certainly are not amateur.
Phyllis Wilson, director of student productions, told the Optimist earlier this month that she is trying to create a more professional environment for the performers.
Many also have underplayed the competition aspect of Sing Song. They contend the event is one where hundreds of students come together to bond and have a good time. Yet judges announce winners in three different categories, and the overall winner is quick to use its bragging rights as the best Sing Song act.
Some may argue Sing Song is not supposed to be about competition, and they may be right. But the competition exists, whether it’s supposed to or not.
Any event that spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours to create, attracts a large audience and is judged as a competition certainly deserves the respect of being reviewed.