By Taylor Rexrode
There’s a trick to making it to Pigskin Revue, and no, it’s not bribing the Sing judges.
When asked about the secret to making Pigskin, Cheryl Mathis, assistant director of Campus Programs, said that there is no one special formula for success.
“It’s up to the judges’ opinions on what they think is best,” Mathis said. “I saw acts in years past that I thought were pretty good, and it was shocking to see some of the ones I thought could use a little extra work make it. It’s impressive to see how many different acts are seen differently by the entire audience.”
Judges come from four main backgrounds: dance, theater, music and higher education/student affairs.
Mathis said judges follow strict policies and procedures and are chosen carefully to avoid biased opinions.
“I know it can often get rumored that things aren’t fair and that we prefer groups over another,” Mathis said. “But the way the scoring is set up, the way we invite judges and the way the final tallies are created is very intricate and it’s quite tedious. I want people to know that the scores they are given are honest and true.”
Performing organizations can receive a maximum score of 100 points.
Points are awarded based on entertainment value, musical quality, creativity, choreography and theme development.
The top eight acts are invited to perform at Pigskin in the fall.
Kappa Omega Tau has the longest history of attending Pigskin, reaching back to the 1960s.
Mathis said this organization, along with other repeat Pigskin groups, have received high scores at Sing because of their work to keep the tradition alive.
“These groups that are the traditional winners hold that very dear and are proud of it,” Mathis said. “They want to continue that tradition of excellence and want to live up to what past alumni have experienced.”
Most of all, Mathis says that commitment from all performers within a group can separate the good Sing acts from the great Sing acts.
“Whether happy and cheerful or slow and dramatic, the more they can enhance that mood, the higher they will score,” Mathis said.
Baylor alumna Kim Turner, assistant director of student activities at TCU, judged last year and said judges notice the attention to detail and professionalism displayed in many Sing acts.
“I think professionalism, polish and energy on stage separate the great from the really good,” Turner said. “You can tell when they are enjoying what they’re doing. As a judge that energy is contagious and that makes you score them higher.”
Turner said judging can be challenging and scores can be close with many talented performers and creative shows.
“Being a student and having family that have participated, I have probably been to Sing 20 years now,” Turner said. “Judging is hard because we know how much time and energy students put into it. People may not realize how difficult it is to judge when every year there are so many high quality groups.”
Mathis offers one piece of advice for students getting ready for their Sing debut—have fun and give it your all.
“At this point, there’s no need to stress about things to fix because it’s show time. If you’re having a great time and can commit to what you have rehearsed, not only will you have a good time but the audience and the judges will have
a good time too.”