From the Dark Knight to Vanna White, Frater Sodalis is deadset on winning it’s fourth consecutive Sing Song with this year’s Wheel of Fortune act. But the reigning champions’ road to potential victory is proving to be puzzling.
Last year’s winning director, Jax Hernandez, senior Christian ministry major from Keller, said the Frats’ initial director asked his brothers to “step in and step up” after being called to personal matters days before the competition. Hernandez was brought from the risers back into a familiar co-directing role alongside previous assistant director, J.C. Gambill, senior music education major from Wylie.
After the 2020 “A-Frat-Acadabra” act conjured up the fraternity’s first win since 1982, the Frats became acquainted with conquering complications. The Appalachian mountain men scaled the summit of the pandemic to win in 2021. The following year, a band of Batmen won the night with many members that had never experienced a traditional Sing Song. Now the group faces a sudden shift in leadership.
According to Gambill and Hernandez, the last-minute change is not shaking the fraternity’s confidence. Instead, it is calling the Frats’ adage into action.
“Our motto is B.T., brothers together,” Hernandez said. “We kind of have formed our own family, and it means a lot to each of us.”
He said the Frats’ ability to come together amidst the chaos has allowed the preparation process to remain enjoyable, which is crucial to Sing Song success.
“A winning act, at the heart of it, has to be a group of people who really just are about having fun,” Hernandez said. “When we were at our best, it was when we said, ‘You know what? We’re just going to go out there and have fun.’”
Gambill said the Frats’ driving force of fun is navigated by the fraternity’s shared objective: to win Sing Song.
“The biggest thing is having a vision in mind of what you’re trying to achieve from the beginning,” Gambill said.
The early days of preparation, the Frats decided what they wanted their vocals to sound like and their choreography to look like. They measured their progress against their goals consistently throughout the semester, and Gambill believes it is paying off.
“I think vocally we are top of our game at this point,” Gambill said.
But the Frats’ shared vision was not limited to how they wanted to win. They also decided who they wanted to win for, recognizing that the Frats’ brotherhood runs deep.
“We’re hoping to keep the legacy, especially with the passing of Dr. Bob Hunter, who was one of our past presidents,” Hernandez said.
Dr. Robert “Bob” Hunter, longtime vice president of Abilene Christian University and former state representative, began the tradition of Sing Song in 1957. The former Frats’ president passed away in February of this year at the age of 94. Hernandez and Gambill said the Frats want to win in his honor, upholding their motto of “brothers together.”
“I think that really gets back into the heart of what Dr. Bob Hunter had in mind when he built Sing Song way back when,” Hernandez said. “It was about having fun with the people that he loved and the people that he was close with: his brothers.”
Through the frenzy of final touches, the Frats diligently maintain sight of their end goal with three years of success supporting their vision. Gambill said he believes the Frats are building upon each win, getting better each subsequent year.
“This has been the best sounding we have been. Ever,” Gambill said.
“We feel really good,” Hernandez said. We feel really prepared. We’re ready.”
Leave a Comment:
You must be logged in to post a comment.