By Whitney Hunter |
Everyone on campus is sick. Fake eyelashes are sold out in Waco. Guys are trying their best to point their toes in unison.
How do you explain All-University Sing to your friends that don’t go to Baylor?
You might have some difficulties putting into words the wonderful chaos that is Sing season. That is unless your friends have something equivalent to Sing at their school. I know what you’re thinking— “I thought Sing was just a Baylor thing. What do you mean we aren’t the only school with this tradition? How dare these schools copy us?”
I’m right there with you. When I found out that other schools had their own versions of Sing, I got a bit defensive of our beloved Baylor tradition. Being the competitive person that I am, when I found out we weren’t the only ones doing Sing, I wanted to see how these other schools stacked up.
Baylor University: All-University Sing
Let’s start with our own campus for a quick refresher on this tradition. Baylor students have been hitting their Sing moves and trying to make group Sing since 1953. Today any registered student organization is welcome to participate, yet mainly only Greek life takes part. Sing Alliance joined the tradition in 1998, giving all students the opportunity to perform in All-University Sing.
In this grand production, student organizations perform 7-minute, Broadway-style productions based on a theme of their choosing. This is in hopes of achieving a coveted spot in the top 8 to perform Homecoming Weekend at Pigskin Revue. Sing season consists of two months filled with practice and preparation, ending in two weekends of performances. This year, nineteen acts are performing, making the competition for Pigskin tighter than ever.
Samford University: Step Sing
Step Sing technically began in 1951, but came to its current form in 1976. For more than 40 years, students have put on short Broadway-style musical productions at the Samford University Wright Center for four nights to see whose moves rank supreme.
This tradition is the most similar to Baylor’s All-University Sing. So similar, in fact, that certain themes from Samford students have been used by Baylor students. From dads to bowling to baristas, if Baylor students have done it, Samford students already did. While Greek life participates in Step Sing, there are also other non-Greek organizations that get to take part in this tradition. Groups such as “Dudes-a-Plenty” and “Independent Ladies” get to join the performing fun without being affiliated with a fraternity or sorority.
Westmont College: Spring Sing
In sunny Santa Barbara, California students from each residence hall at Westmont College produce Broadway-style skits and perform them at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Spring Sing involves more students than any other Westmont activity and this year will the 58th annual performance, making it the longest-running tradition on that campus.
A different theme is selected each year, and every residence hall comes up with a skit that creatively fits what is chosen. Students use song and dance to tell their story and sometimes even a faculty or staff cameo. Students practice during the weeks leading up to Spring Sing for one night of incredible performances.
Oklahoma University: University Sing
Even other Big XII schools want to join in on the synchronized dancing tradition. Each year, student organizations at OU perform a themed 10-minute Broadway-style show to packed audiences in Holmberg Hall. University Sing got started in 1947, making it the longest running tradition on this list, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that choreography was added.
One major difference between this tradition and other schools is size. There are four main performers, but the ensembles usually only have around 40 members. Any student organization is welcome to participate in the fun, but it is typically underclassmen that partake in this tradition. More than 25 student organizations perform each year, giving this performance the longest run-time of any of the other schools.
Abilene Christian University: Sing Song
Sing Song is a bit different than the other school traditions, but that doesn’t mean it is any less deserving of a spot on our list of All-University Sing equivalents. Since its start in 1957, groups of students (ranging from 25 to 100 members) have been changing the lyrics to popular songs to tell a story about their selected theme. This tradition has what every other tradition has— harmonized vocals, choreographed moves and beautifully handmade props.
However, this tradition is more of a souped-up choir performance than a Broadway-style show. There’s no dancing around on stage or even a live band. Students get to embrace their inner Pitch Perfect and perform an entirely a cappella show. Led by a student conductor, performers are organized on bleachers where they sing their perfectly harmonized hearts out.
I could write a short novel on all of the schools with an All-University Sing of their own. Listed are only four other schools with similar traditions, but there are plenty of others brought together by students singing and dancing in unison.
So if you eat, sleep and breathe Sing, then I highly recommend you check out some of the acts at other schools— you just might get a little inspiration for a Pigskin-worthy theme.