I appreciate what Sarah Carlson said in her column regarding Sing Song. The Sing Song culture has become too overbearing on students.
I directed our club act (Pi Kappa) this year. Knowing that we would have approximately 20 participants, I told them we had two options: to have fun, grow stronger together, and put on a fun, entertaining show or obsess over perfection and try to win. I think it was obvious which route the club chose.
I think many have drifted away from what should be the intended purpose of Sing Song: to put on a fun and entertaining show that brings the campus together.
We have such a competitive attitude about the show that it has ceased to be a joy for many. I am sure most people could tell the purpose of our act was simply to entertain and have fun.
We practiced much less than most acts and did not obsess over technical details and arm positions.
What meant most to us (besides our fourth place finish) were the comments by the audience. We enjoyed hearing people who thought our show was “funny and entertaining.”
I think that our competitive culture is only frustrated by the judging. It was not encouraging to see a few judges describe our act as having a “pitiful” sound or give us “1”s (the lowest possible rating) in each category. One judge said it looked like we had fun, but he could not judge on “fun.”
I think it was obvious that a few judges could have cared less about the entertainment value of our act and were too focused on the technicalities of what a Sing Song act should look like.
Though it did not bother us much, I think the judges tend to get in the way of what the show should be about.
I would hope that Sing Song would eventually move away from the highly competitive nature that it has become, where parents and alumni are as heavily involved in producing the acts as the students.
Maybe one day, there will be a Sing Song that is done completely by the students without the unhealthy levels of competition currently present, simply to let the students come together and entertain with their God-given talents.