WT's University Sing
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there stood a little university in the middle of nowhere, otherwise knows as the Panhandle of Texas. This university was called West Texas A&M and was a wonderous place of community, learning and most of all: competition. Our story takes place minutes after the annual “University Sing”. This epic event is hosted by the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership on Saturday, March 7 from in Legacy Hall. Although University Sing has been a typical university event for years and years now, WTAMU has been putting theirs on since 1980.The theme this year; Fairytales with a twist.
“It's not your normal fairy tale of what you've always grown up with, like a classic story with […] a mythical or magical element [to] it,” says Sabrina Pugh, this year’s event planner for Sing, “but then with […] a unique creation to a fairytale, whether that be completely rewriting a brand new story or taking a normal story and adding something unique to it.”
This year 6 groups competed with a total of 11 organizations, meaning some organizations team up with others to strengthen their odds of winning. After all, the motivation is high when the team to place first wins a total of $300. Sabrina Pugh, top event planner this year, actually participated in Sing the last two years and had this to say about her experience:
“I love being in Sing. It was actually one of my favorite things to do. Just being able to be a part of something so big and something so involving was amazing. I loved seeing S.A.G.E. interactwith other organizations. Something that we're all doing together and healthy competition.”
This year I participated in Sing with the on-campus organization S.A.G.E. as well, which stands for Students Assisting in Good Endeavors. This is the groups 3 rd year to enter in Sing. So far S.A.G.E. has managed to place second every year. In 2020 however, our goal was to win the $300, despite some members wanting second just for the fun of it. When asked, Nathan Solomon, the head of the Sing committee for S.A.G.E said:
“I think S.A.G.E. is definitely ready. We have practiced three to four times a week for the past two weeks, of course we have some stuff to work on, but we're getting really close to tying it up. And we're all having a lot of fun”
This year the judges are looking for several different aspects. One being the “singing, because that's the main point of it; Can you hear them? Are they sounding somewhat musical? Then another aspect [are] their dances creative and fun? Projection and creativity, and overall just involvement of their organization [is very important. And finally,] did they stick with the theme?” said Pugh. But it is not all fun and games. There is a lot more to it than just coming up with choreography to popular songs, and a fun script. There are plenty of rules and guidelines that must be followed closely. It is important that each organization keeps the normal student conduct. As well as being “present at rehearsal and meetings, so that [they] know the information and that we can be able to practice and rehearse with you as an office.” - The OSEL office that is.
“Major offenses could mean an organization is up for disqualification, but if it is a minor offense, it could be up to a five-point deduction” said Pugh. One of these main rules “is that we don't have any food or drink available to come in from outside. That just being that we've had problems in years past of maybe alcohol consumption”
This may seem strict, but it is certainly justifiable when you consider the shenanigans that went down the last years, with organizations bringing alcoholic drinks to the event and getting on stage buzzed and even drunk. In fact, this is not the only drama that goes down during Sing. Since the prize for first place and even second, which is $200, and third, $100, the level of competition is extremely high. Organizations have to keep their ideas, scripts, choreography and even their chosen songs secret. Sing even just as a conversation topic is kept off limits, and the OSEL office makes sure everything related to the subject is kept in the shadows until the day of. This makes for a fun month of secretive meetings and talking in code. However, it is also the cause of, yet again, more drama. Organizations try incredibly hard to find loopholes in the rules and policies, and even try to get
other organizations in trouble in order to bring their competition down. If you put this aside though, you are left with a fun event that not only brings individual organizations members together as they rehearse for weeks straight, but also brings organizations together as they experience this healthy competition with each other. It even brings the campus together as it is an event that is looked forward to by many. In fact, this is how I got to know S.A.G.E. and decided to join a
“The day of the performance was similar to previous years. Nerves start to settle in right before the performance and it is important to remember we are here to have fun. While on stage adrenaline kicks in and time flies by,” said Solomon, “but after the performance we were all so proud of each other and the work we put in. That night is so fun for the audience and every performer. It's an awesome event to be a part of. I was so proud of S.A.G.E. and their accomplishments. We practiced for so many hours and it definitely paid off. We had our best performance the night of and couldn't have done better. Everyone did their part and we all had so much fun.”
After every group had finished performing it was time for the award ceremony. This might have been the tensest few minutes of the entire night.
“I thought that it was really close between Kappa Kappa psi and S.A.G.E., it could have gone either way,” Said audience member Jairo Vazquez, “but S.A.G.E. in my opinion edged them out with their performance, flow and comedic timing.”
That’s right! S.A.G.E. received first place for the first time ever. The whole group went wild on stage when we heard our name. Some audience members even decided to give us a standing ovation, and our night ended with a traditional celebration at IHop.
“Winning was very rewarding to everyone in S.A.G.E.” Solomon said “All our members deserved recognition for the time they each put in and how much effort they gave in order for our performance to be great. Plus, it was our first time winning! It was a great accomplishment ”
- And everyone lived happily ever after.