It’s October and preparations for Sing Song are already taking place. And honestly, who’s surprised?
For as many students who couldn’t care less about Sing Song and are hardly involved, just as many students are completely obsessed. So preparing now for the show in February makes perfect sense not just to Tom Craig, director of student activities and productions, but to all the clubs and classes who plan to participate.
Hosts and hostesses were chosen before Homecoming. Many social clubs elected their directors last week, and the class acts are following suit this week, as class officers interview candidates. Next Thursday will be the first directors meeting with the co-chairs, and at incremental dates from now until December, themes, lyrics and costumes will have to be presented.
As directors are chosen and songs are scrutinized over, competing acts should keep in mind the importance of collaborating within their club or class. Last year the winning acts in the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Voices categories were all written by the same person. This is just one sample of evidence that the strategy to win Sing Song has become more about hiring the best outside help rather than pulling out the most talent from within.
Seeking help from Sing Song veterans has long been a part of developing a great show. But there is a fine line between seeking a second opinion and having and external secret weapon. Club and class acts alike are relying less on their members to step up and more on the YouTube videos of past winners. Instead of looking for something new or creative, they turn to what worked the year before.
This is resulting in the same songs being repeated and reused and clubs fighting over who can get Nick Tatum to come direct their practice.
The answer is not to make outside help illegal. The last thing we need is more silly threats for point deductions. The answer lies in seeing a bigger opportunity.
When beginning to write music or create choreography over these next few months, directors should use this as an opportunity to rely on their clubs orclasses first. We should not have to rely on one person to be writing the music for every act. We should call on our members to step up and be more than just an extra warm body on stage. ACU is teeming with talented and creative students. Clubs and classes should want to be able to take full credit for their act. They should want to be able to say, “Look at the work we as brothers or sisters or classmates were able to make as a whole.”
Nobody wants to win knowing they wouldn’t have won without someone who was never even a member of their club. Or that they just recycled the costume change their rivalry club used last year. This will ensure that the best act wins. Not the act with the best consultant.