Written by Mikaela Santini
This past Saturday, 11 student organizations preformed musical skits in SING!, one of the most popular events of homecoming. The audience was entertained for hours by the skits and the commentary of Masters of Ceremonies, sophomore Zac Carr and junior Diana Leon.
“I thought the performance was great,” Daniel Webb, Assistant Director for Alumni Relations, said. “Being the first year back in the Alma Thomas Theater, after four years in the Robertson Center, we had a lot of issues to work out, but I feel like we put on a great show. The content of the program was the best I have seen since I’ve been at Southwestern and you couldn’t ask for a better venue. SING is a great tradition at Southwestern. It gives students, faculty, staff, and alumni an opportunity to come together and experience a great show.”
“Although there were almost a dozen skits for the crowd to enjoy, the judges awarded Tri-Delta’s first place, with ZTA’s and Sigma Phi Lambda-Kappa Chi’s skits finishing second and third, respectively.”
The Best Costume went the A.S.I.A and Megaphone for their unique videogame mania skit. The Best Music went to Delta Omicron-Mask & Whig. The Best Choreography went to Tri-Delta for their elaborate dance routines. Best Theme Development and Best Overall Performance went to Phi Lamb-Kappa Chi.
Most organizations put hours of preparation, thought and practice into their skit.
“In Zeta, SING! is very important to us and being winners for the past two years in a row, I kind of felt there was some pressure on me to not disappoint,” Cambria Wallace, the SING! Coordinator for ZTA said. “With the help of a lot of my sisters it was a collaborative effort to put the skit together and make sure it all came together on stage. I thought our performance on Saturday night was really great, we knew that we needed a lot of energy and expression on stage and I believe that we showed that and gave it our all. We are happy with how everything turned out because we know that we did our best on stage and that’s all we could of hoped for.”
Phi Lambs and KYX, the people’s choice winners, also put a lot of effort into perfecting their show. Their goal was to have fun working together on an exciting project and perform to the best of their ability. Although practices started in September, skit, song and choreography planning started as far back as the spring semester.
SING! was long anticipated not only by performers, however. Since the theme “One Hit Wonders” was decided in March, SING! coordinators Alex Caple and Samanda Rivera had been diligently working towards last week’s performance. They began collaborating with Student Foundation advisor Daniel Webb in August for more concentrated preparations.
“Planning began around last March,” Rivera said. “That’s when the theme was chosen, and all of the dates were set up. At that point we also updated the rules and schedules. This semester we made applications available and planned meeting with the SING! leaders. I helped to ensure that all scripts were appropriate for sing. Alex and I met at least once a week to get things together. We worked on the program, finding judges, finding a student performer. We made a lot of adjustments because this is the first year it was in Alma Thomas again. We also planned meetings with the tech crew, to make sure we were all on the same page.”
The hard work throughout this semester and last is noteworthy, according to Daniel Webb.
“The process of planning SING! began last spring and continued until this weekend,” Webb said. “I began working at Southwestern in early August and since the beginning of the school year, I have been working closely with our two student SING! coordinators, Alex Caple and Samanda Rivera, both from Student Foundation, and a wonderful group of student tech’s who work in the Alma Thomas Theater. A lot of coordination between these students went into SING! and I think the majority of the credit needs to go to them. These students, including Sarah Wiggins, the stage manager for the program, were very organized and professional about their responsibilities and put on a great show.”
After months of planning, the big week finally came. Despite careful preparations, nothing could change the difficulties of putting it all together.
“The last week was hectic,” Rivera said. “We had tech rehearsal Sunday and Monday from 4:30-11. Thankfully all groups showed up at the appropriate times. Final planning included purchasing presents for the MCs, judges, people’s choice awards, and other random things. We had a few last minute things we had to make, like 600 copies of the people’s choice award ballots. But nothing too complicated came up.”
Surprisingly, most of the staff involved with coordinating SING! said that things went surprisingly smooth the days before the event.
“Most of the planning for the program was finished by last week and that allowed us to focus most of our attention on the two tech rehearsal and one dress rehearsal,” Webb said. “For the theater tech staff on the student staffers from Student Foundation, these three nights were their only shot at putting the final touches on the actual program, so we were all working very hard to ensure that the rehearsals were well organized and ran smoothly.”
Their hard work paid off, however, as the performance was well organized and ran almost flawlessly. Rivera said that at one point they were even ahead of schedule.
“I feel that SING! is a great way to bring everyone at SU together, and it’s a great tradition here. I feel now that it’s over I have way more time!! It’s exciting to see that everything went so well.”
Students at Southwestern share Rivera’s sentiments. Conversation about SING! skits are common around campus, as friends discuss their favorite songs and funniest moments.
“SING! was really good,” sophomore Alexandra Overton said. “I like the Phi Lambs a lot, especially their creativity. Also, I like how Ebony incorporated the cafeteria workers in their songs and skit. It was really cute.”
Phi Lambs and Ebony are popular topics, but ASIA/Megaphone, a novelty this year, was equally popular.
“I loved the ASIA/ Megaphone skit,” Wallace, the ZTA coordinator, said. “I was laughing the whole time!!”