If anyone were to walk on campus this week, they’d most likely leave covered in glitter. If they stood still long enough, they might end up with rosy red circles and exaggerated painted eyelashes on their face. Slap a bow on their head, and they are ready to roll. If said hypothetical individual has never encountered such phenomena, they are likely to walk away wondering what on Earth is going on at this college.
Some students on campus have never witnessed such a spectacle. Other residents of greater Abilene think we’re absolutely crazy. And yet, we have arrived again for the 60th year in the mid-February madness of an a cappella singing competition involving homemade costumes and parodied popular melody.
Sing Song has become permanently ingrained in the culture of our university and adds great value to what it means to be a Wildcat. Whether you are the first to sign up for an act every year or wouldn’t touch the Sing Song stage with your big toe, this campus tradition makes us who we are as a school. As we look forward to the weekend’s show, we ought to take time to reflect on why such an event like singing on a carpeted stage matters as much as it does.
For more than half of ACU’s existence, students have come together to put on this unique production showcasing the talent and creativity across campus. Maybe your grandmother was a hostess in the 60s, or your dad was part of Galaxy’s 7-year winning streak, or you grew up coming to watch your cousins in their class and club acts. Over its six-decade lifetime, Sing Song has grown and morphed and changed, just like any of us. Sing Song lives and breathes in sync with the students that call ACU home every four years.
You’d think with all the exhaustion, undone homework and complaints thrown out, the student body would give it up already. Yet we return each spring semester to churn out another spectacular event.
So why do we keep Bob Hunter’s dream alive each year? A few reasons, we think.
First, this tradition represents a critical piece of who we are as a school. ACU has been known as “the Singing College” for many years and Sing Song was created to highlight ACU students’ uncanny abilities in four-part harmony and dynamic vocal ranges. To forget Sing Song or discount it as silly and ridiculous is to undermine long-time values ACU was built on.
Second, every spring, Sing Song brings the campus together and reconnects families and friends. Alumni return and reflect on their own experiences. They often drag their young kids with them, only to leave the show with chattering little voices that can’t wait to be in Sing Song someday when they are big and in college.
Third, for us on the battlefield, Sing Song is where memories are born. Win or lose, in sickness and in health, energized or exhausted, the next few days are what dreams are made of.
Nobody looks at Sing Song and says, “Oh, well, that’s normal.” But those who have experienced it know the electrifying feeling of rushing the set up the stairs, tiptoeing to the right spot on stage, searching to find the starting note and singing with perfect diction and a face so animated it actually physically hurts.
You think it sounds crazy? Yeah, it is. But it’s a part of who we are and who we will continue to become year after year as students and alumni of Abilene Christian University.