Sing Song has become one of the most endeared and long-standing traditions at ACU since its implementation over 50 years ago by Dr. Bob Hunter.
It’s an event designed for everyone, no matter how much singing or dancing experience they have. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and the Abilene community come together each year, whether to enjoy a new experience or relive an old one.
According to ACU’s website, each year about a third of the student body joins an act or volunteers to work on the crew. The members of the student body who perform in the show compete not only for the fun bragging rights, but also for the chance to give their act’s winnings to the charity of their choice.
Many students continue a family legacy not only by attending the university, but also by participating in Sing Song.
As a second-generation ACU student and long-time citizen of Abilene, I understand the connection many feel to the community and the tradition of Sing Song. Both of my parents and many of my relatives participated in the production. In addition, I have seen the show every year since 2008.
Through those years spent hearing stories and watching shows, I have continued to look forward to the day I would be able to participate in Sing Song.
I will acknowledge that my experience is unique, as most students don’t get to watch Sing Song 11 times before their first show. However, for those who are starting a family legacy of their own, Sing Song still poses a new and exciting opportunity for students to look forward to.
I remember visiting campus as a student in high school and attending Student Life sessions before the days of Nick Tatum. Those sessions are designed for people who have never heard of Sing Song before stepping foot on campus, and they provide a lot of helpful information.
I’ve had many conversations explaining its significance with people who didn’t know about the show since then, even some with people on this year’s leadership team.
Many students push off participation in Sing Song because they worry about the time commitment. While I understand that concern, I must say I have been working on an act, I’m a manager on the leadership team and I work 20+ hours per week at my job, all while maintaining my grades.
Academics, life and Sing Song can coexist, and while sacrifices in other areas may be a result, it’s ultimately been an enjoyable and wholesome experience.
It is important for students to participate in Sing Song, as it brings the community of the university together. It allows for more connections between members of classes as they strive for victory. While Sing Song isn’t the only way to create a community, there isn’t anything quite like the time spent on putting lyrics, music, costumes and sets together that achieves the same goal.
As a leader of one of the freshman acts, but not a performer, I have been able to stand back and watch people make connections with their sections or project groups more than the typical person. It creates a different kind of community that the typical student organization doesn’t.
I don’t know of any other student organization that allows students to build important skills by working on such a large-scale production that they can look back on and be proud of.
This isn’t to say that other student organizations aren’t good or fulfilling; they just provide a different experience.
These performances and the time spent working on them, difficult though they may be, can create some of the most treasured memories that students leave this campus with after graduation.
As participants and a community, we should continue to enjoy the company and competition that Sing Song provides. While they may not be for everyone, these opportunities aren’t worth missing out on.